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Generic name: chenodiol (chenodeoxycholic acid)KEE-noe-DYE-ol ]
Drug class: Gallstone solubilizing agents

Medically reviewed by on Apr 8, 2024. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Chenodal?

Chenodal is made from bile acid, a substance that occurs naturally in the body.

Chenodal is used to dissolve gallstones in people who cannot have gallbladder surgery.

Chenodal may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Chenodal side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Chenodal may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

Common side effects of Chenodal may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


You should not use Chenodal if you have liver disease, cirrhosis, or certain conditions that cause an obstruction in your digestive system.

Chenodal can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use if you are pregnant.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Chenodal if you are allergic to it, or if:

To make sure Chenodal is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have a history of liver problems or jaundice.

Do not use Chenodal if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby or cause birth defects. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine.

It is not known whether chenodiol passes into breast milk or if it could affect the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

How should I take Chenodal?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take Chenodal in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Chenodal is usually taken 2 times each day until your gallstones are completely dissolved. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Chenodal is usually given for no longer than 2 years.

Use Chenodal regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

It may take up to 12 months before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 6 months of treatment.

While using Chenodal, you may need frequent blood tests. You may also need an occasional ultrasound or x-ray examination of your gallbladder.

Chenodal is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include weight control and a special diet. Follow the diet plan created for you by your doctor or nutrition counselor. Get familiar with the list of foods you must avoid to help control your condition.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

Even with treatment, there is a chance that your gallstones may return within 5 years. Talk to your doctor about your specific risk. Chenodal will not prevent gallstones from occurring.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking Chenodal?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity. Avoid eating foods that are high in fat or cholesterol.

What other drugs will affect Chenodal?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with chenodiol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.