Ursodiol is a bile acid that decreases the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver and absorbed by the intestines. Ursodiol helps break down cholesterol that has formed into stones in the gallbladder. Ursodiol also increases bile flow in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis.
Ursodiol is used to treat primary biliary cirrhosis.
Ursodiol capsules are used to treat small gallstones in people who cannot have gallbladder surgery, and to prevent gallstones in overweight patients undergoing rapid weight loss. Ursodiol capsules are not for treating gallstones that are calcified
Common side effects may include:
mild stomach pain or discomfort;
nausea, diarrhea, constipation;
cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat;
hair loss; or
mild itching or rash.
Ursodiol dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Biliary Cirrhosis:
Tablets: 13 to 15 mg/kg/day orally in 2 to 4 divided doses with food
-Dose should be adjusted according to patient's need at physician's discretion.
Approved indication: For treatment of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis
Usual Adult Dose for Gallbladder Disease:
Gallbladder stone dissolution: 8 to 10 mg/kg/day orally in 2 or 3 divided doses
Gallstone prevention: 300 mg orally twice a day
-Ultrasound images of gallbladder recommended at 6-month intervals for first year of therapy to monitor gallstone response. If gallstones appear to have dissolved, therapy should be continued and dissolution confirmed on a repeat ultrasound examination within 1 to 3 months.
-Most patients who eventually achieve complete stone dissolution show partial or complete dissolution at the first on-treatment reevaluation.
-If partial stone dissolution is not seen by 12 months of therapy, likelihood of success is greatly reduced.
-Safety of use beyond 24 months is not established.
-For dissolution of gallstones in patients with radiolucent, noncalcified gallbladder stones less than 20 mm in greatest diameter who are not candidates for cholecystectomy due to increased surgical risk (e.g., systemic disease, advanced age, idiosyncratic reaction to general anesthesia) or who refuse surgery
-For gallstone prevention in obese patients undergoing rapid weight loss