Ursodiol (By mouth)

Introduction

Ursodiol (ur-soe-DYE-ol)

Dissolves certain kinds of gallstones in the body when they cannot be removed by surgery. Also treats primary biliary cirrhosis, a liver disorder.

Brand Name(s)

Urso 250, URSO Forte, Actigall

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to ursodiol or other bile acids.

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule, Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • It is best to take this medicine with food or milk.
  • Ursodiol forte tablet can be broken in halves to provide recommended dosage. To break the tablet easily, place the tablet on a flat surface with the scored section on top. Hold the tablet with your thumbs placed close to the groove then apply gentle pressure until it breaks apart. Swallow each segment with water. Do not chew it.
  • Keep using the medicine for your full treatment time. It may take several months for the medicine to dissolve gallstones.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Half-tablets can be used for up to 28 days when kept in the medicine bottle. Due to the bitter taste, segments should be stored separately.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using estrogen, birth control pills, or clofibrate (Atromid-S®), cholestyramine (Questran®), colestipol (Colestid®), or other medicine to lower cholesterol.
  • You should not use antacids that contain aluminum (ALternaGEL®, Maalox®, Mylanta®, and others) while you are using ursodiol.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have other liver problems or pancreas inflammation. Tell your doctor if you also have bleeding varices (veins that enlarge and bleed), hepatic encephalopathy (brain disease caused by liver failure), ascites, or if you need a liver transplant.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain.
  • Severe nausea and vomiting.
  • Severe stomach pain especially on the right upper side.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach, or gas.
  • Headache.
  • Indigestion or a metallic taste in the mouth.
  • Itching, dry skin, or hair thinning.
  • Weakness.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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