Generic Name: ursodiol (ERR-so-DIE-ole)
Brand Name: Examples include Actigall and Urso
Ursodiol is used for:
Treating and preventing gallstones. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Ursodiol is a bile acid naturally found in the body. It works by dissolving the cholesterol that makes gallstones and inhibiting production of cholesterol in the liver and absorption in the intestines, which helps to decrease the formation of gallstones. It can also reduce the amount of other bile acids that can be harmful to liver cells when levels are elevated.
Do NOT use ursodiol if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in ursodiol
- you have blockage of the bile duct
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using ursodiol:
Some medical conditions may interact with ursodiol. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have inflammation of the bile duct, inflammation of the gallbladder, inflammation of the pancreas, or bleeding from the veins in the esophagus
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with ursodiol. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Estrogens (eg, premarin, oral contraceptives) because they may decrease ursodiol's effectiveness
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if ursodiol may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use ursodiol:
Use ursodiol as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take ursodiol by mouth with food or milk.
- Do not take an antacid that has aluminum in it or a bile acid sequestrant (eg, cholestyramine, colestipol) within 1 hour before or 2 hours after you take ursodiol.
- If you miss a dose of ursodiol, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use ursodiol.
Important safety information:
- It may take several months for ursodiol to work. Do not stop taking ursodiol without checking with your doctor.
- Lab tests, including liver function, may be performed while you use ursodiol. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Ursodiol should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using ursodiol while you are pregnant. It is not known if ursodiol is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use ursodiol, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of ursodiol:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Constipation; diarrhea; dry skin; gas; headache; indigestion; metallic taste; muscle or joint pain; nausea; skin rash; stomach pain; swelling; tiredness.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue).
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include diarrhea.Proper storage of ursodiol:
Store ursodiol at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep ursodiol out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about ursodiol, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Ursodiol is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take ursodiol or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about ursodiol. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to ursodiol. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using ursodiol.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More ursodiol resources
- ursodiol Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- ursodiol Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
- Ursodiol Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Ursodiol Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
- Ursodiol Monograph (AHFS DI)
- Actigall Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Urso Prescribing Information (FDA)