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Ursodeoxycholic acid (ursodiol): Patient drug information

Ursodeoxycholic acid (ursodiol): Patient drug information
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For additional information see "Ursodeoxycholic acid (ursodiol): Drug information" and "Ursodeoxycholic acid (ursodiol): Pediatric drug information"

You must carefully read the "Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer" below in order to understand and correctly use this information.

Brand Names: US
  • Actigall [DSC];
  • Reltone;
  • Urso 250;
  • Urso Forte
Brand Names: Canada
  • AG-Ursodiol;
  • GLN-Ursodiol;
  • JAMP-Ursodiol;
  • PMS-Ursodiol;
  • PMS-Ursodiol C;
  • Urso DS [DSC];
  • Urso [DSC]
What is this drug used for?
  • It is used to treat or prevent gallstones.
  • It is used to treat a type of liver disease caused by bile duct problems in the liver (biliary cirrhosis).
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?
  • If you are allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you have a biliary tract block.
  • If you have a certain bile duct problem (cholangitis).
  • If you have any of these health problems: Abnormal opening in the biliary and GI (gastrointestinal) tracts, pancreatitis, or swelling of the gallbladder (cholecystitis).
  • This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?
  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have your blood work and other lab tests checked as you have been told by your doctor.
  • This drug takes months to dissolve gallstones. It may not completely work in all patients who use it. Some patients have had gallstones come back after treatment. Talk with the doctor if you have questions about this information.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
  • WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI) like blood in the urine, burning or pain when passing urine, feeling the need to pass urine often or right away, fever, lower stomach pain, or pelvic pain.
  • Swelling of belly.
  • Stomach cramps.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Rarely, stones in the stomach or bowel have happened with this drug. Sometimes this has needed surgery. These patients also had other risk factors like Crohn's disease or a history of bowel surgery. Tell your doctor right away if you have signs of bowel block like severe constipation, pain, or bloating.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
  • All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Dizziness or headache.
  • Back pain.
  • Constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, upset stomach, or throwing up.
  • Heartburn.
  • Gas.
  • Muscle or joint pain.
  • Signs of a common cold.
  • Hair loss.
  • These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
  • You may report side effects to your national health agency.
How is this drug best taken?
  • Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
  • All products:
  • Keep taking this drug as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • If you take cholestyramine, colesevelam, colestipol, or an antacid that has aluminum, you may need to take them at some other time than this drug. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Tablets:
  • Take with food.
  • Some products may be broken in half. If you are not sure if you can break this product in half, talk with the doctor.
  • Do not chew the half-tablets. Be sure to drink enough water to wash the half-tablet down. Holding these in the mouth may cause a bitter taste.
  • If you break the tablet in half, use the other half of the tablet for the next dose, as told by the doctor. Throw away half-tablets not used within 28 days.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
How do I store and/or throw out this drug?
  • All products:
  • Store at room temperature in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
  • Tablets:
  • If you break the tablet in half, store the half-tablets apart from the whole tablets.
General drug facts
  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Last Reviewed Date2024-01-03
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
  • This generalized information is a limited summary of diagnosis, treatment, and/or medication information. It is not meant to be comprehensive and should be used as a tool to help the user understand and/or assess potential diagnostic and treatment options. It does NOT include all information about conditions, treatments, medications, side effects, or risks that may apply to a specific patient. It is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for the medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of a health care provider based on the health care provider's examination and assessment of a patient's specific and unique circumstances. Patients must speak with a health care provider for complete information about their health, medical questions, and treatment options, including any risks or benefits regarding use of medications. This information does not endorse any treatments or medications as safe, effective, or approved for treating a specific patient. UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates disclaim any warranty or liability relating to this information or the use thereof. The use of this information is governed by the Terms of Use, available at https://www.wolterskluwer.com/en/know/clinical-effectiveness-terms.
  • © 2024 UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.
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