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    Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol

    Information about Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol

    Ursodeoxycholic acid/ursodiol uses

    Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol is used in the treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis and gallbladder stones.

    How ursodeoxycholic acid/ursodiol works

    Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol is a hepatoprotective medication. It works by reducing the amount of cholesterol in the blood and helps dissolve gallbladder stones that are composed mainly of cholesterol. It also improves liver enzymes, protects liver cells from injury caused due to toxic bile acids, and improves liver function.

    Common side effects of ursodeoxycholic acid/ursodiol

    Nausea, Rash, Hair loss, Itching, Abdominal pain, Diarrhea
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Betina Chandolia
    MDS, BDS
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Ashish Ranjan
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    04 Dec 2019 | 11:39 AM (IST)
    Want to know more?
    Read Our Editorial Policy

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    Expert advice for Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol

    • Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol should be taken after a meal with a glass of milk or water.
    • Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and avoid alcohol intake.
    • Diarrhea may occur as a side effect. Drink plenty of fluids and inform your doctor if diarrhea persists or if you find blood in your stools.
    • Your doctor may monitor your liver function and bilirubin levels every month for three months after the start of therapy, and every six months thereafter.
    • Do not stop taking the medication without talking to your doctor.

    Frequently asked questions for Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol

    Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol

    Q. When should I take Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol?

    The suitable timing of taking this medicine might differ depending upon your condition. Your doctor might instruct you to take 2 to 3 doses per day and suggest to take the last dose at bedtime. Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol should be taken with water milk and can be taken with food or after food. When prescribed for dissolving gallstones, it is usually suggested to be taken once daily at night. Ideally, it should be taken at a gap of 6 hours, for example at 8 am, 2 pm and 8 pm.

    Q. Is Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol safe?

    Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol is usually considered to be a safe and effective medicine. However, this medicine may have some common side effects, such as diarrhea. If diarrhea occurs, your doctor may reduce the dose and if it persists, your treatment may be discontinued. Additionally, using this medicine as a long term therapy may also affect your liver enzyme levels. To keep a check on this, your doctor will keep monitoring your liver enzyme levels regularly. Despite these minor side effects, this medicine is supposed to be a good alternative to surgery in some patients with gallstones.

    Q. How does Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol help the liver?

    Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol acts on the liver and gets concentrated in the bile secreted from the liver. This, as a result, suppresses the synthesis and secretion of cholesterol by the liver, thereby decreasing the cholesterol levels in bile. This medicine also acts by stopping the intestines from absorbing the bile salts and cholesterol. So, the reduced cholesterol saturation in the bile from the liver leads to gradual dissolving of cholesterol from gallstones, leading to a decrease in size and their eventual dissolution. It also reduces elevated liver enzyme levels by increasing the bile flow through the liver, hence protecting the liver cells.

    Q. Does Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol cause weight gain?

    Yes, there is a chance of weight gain with Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol, but it is not common. The use of Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol can cause weight gain when prescribed in patients with liver disease associated with chronic stasis of bile in small bile ducts of liver, i.e. when bile cannot flow from the liver to the small intestine. Again, the chance of weight gain varies from person to person depending upon the disease, so consult your doctor if you experience weight gain.

    Q. What should I avoid while taking Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol?

    While taking Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol, avoid taking an antacid preparation without consulting your doctor, as they decrease the effectiveness of Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol. You should also avoid medicines like cholestyramine or colestipol as they affect the effectiveness of Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol. So, ask your doctor about the time gap that should be maintained between Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol and these medicines. Also, avoid taking oral contraceptives, estrogenic hormones and blood cholesterol-lowering agents such as clofibrate as they may increase the chances of developing gallstones and act opposite to the Ursodeoxycholic Acid/Ursodiol.

    Content on this page was last updated on 04 December, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)