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Generic Name: cholic acid (KOE lik AS id)
Brand Name: Cholbam

Medically reviewed by on Aug 17, 2020 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is Cholbam?

Cholbam is a bile acid. Bile acids are produced naturally in the body to aid in digestion of fats and certain nutrients.

People with bile acid disorders are unable to produce Cholbam normally. This can make it harder for the body to absorb nutrients important for health, growth, and body functioning. Abnormal bile acids can also build up in the body and become toxic to the liver.

Cholbam is used in people with bile acid disorders. Cholbam works by normalizing bile acid production in the body.

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

Important Information

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

To make sure Cholbam is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

It is not known whether Cholbam will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of cholic acid on the baby.

Cholic acid can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice. Cholbam is not approved for use by anyone younger than 3 weeks old.

How should I take Cholbam?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Cholbam works best if you take it with food.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Do not crush or chew a Cholbam capsule.

To make swallowing easier, you may open the Cholbam capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of soft food. If you are giving this medicine to a young child, mix the medicine with a small amount of baby formula or breast milk. Stir the mixture for 30 seconds and use it right away. Do not save the mixture for later use.

Cholbam comes in different capsule sizes. Your dose may require that you take only 1 capsule per day or up to 8 capsules per day. This medicine doses are based on weight and you may need to use two different capsule sizes to make up your entire dose. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

The recommended dose of cholic acid increases with every few pounds gained as you grow from infancy to adulthood. Tell your doctor if you have any changes in weight.

While using Cholbam, you may need frequent blood tests.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

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 Cholbam?

When you take your Cholbam dose, avoid taking other medicines by mouth at the same time. Since this medicine aids in digestion, it can affect how well your body absorbs any other medicines you need to take. Take this medicine at least 1 hour before or 4 to 6 hours after you take:

Cholbam 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.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • blood in your stools, changes in your bowel habits (such as diarrhea or constipation);

  • pain or burning when you urinate; or

  • liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Common side effects may include:

  • heartburn, acid reflux;

  • nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain;

  • general ill feeling;

  • jaundice;

  • skin sores; or

  • numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands or feet.

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.

What other drugs will affect Cholbam?

Other drugs may interact with cholic acid, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

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.