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Chenodal Side Effects

Generic name: chenodeoxycholic acid

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Sep 1, 2022.

Note: This document contains side effect information about chenodeoxycholic acid. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Chenodal.


Common side effects of Chenodal include: increased serum alanine aminotransferase. Continue reading for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

Applies to chenodeoxycholic acid: oral tablet.


Oral route (Tablet)

Because of the potential hepatotoxicity of chenodiol, poor response rate in some subgroups of chenodiol treated patients, and an increased rate of a need for cholecystectomy in other chenodiol treated subgroups, chenodiol is not an appropriate treatment for many patients with gallstones. Chenodiol should be reserved for carefully selected patients and treatment must be accompanied by systematic monitoring for liver function alterations. Aspects of patient selection, response rates and risks versus benefits are given in the insert.

Serious side effects of Chenodal

Along with its needed effects, chenodeoxycholic acid (the active ingredient contained in Chenodal) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking chenodeoxycholic acid:

Incidence not known

  • Black, tarry stools
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cough
  • fever
  • painful or difficult urination
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • swollen glands
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Other side effects of Chenodal

Some side effects of chenodeoxycholic acid may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Less common

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • bloated
  • cramps
  • difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • full feeling
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea and vomiting
  • pain in the chest below the breastbone
  • pain or discomfort in chest, upper stomach, or throat
  • passing gas
  • stomach discomfort or upset
  • weight loss

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to chenodeoxycholic acid: oral tablet.


Frequency not reported: Constipation/mild intermittent constipation, cramps, diarrhea, dyspepsia, epigastric distress, flatulence, gastrostomy, heartburn, nausea, nonspecific abdominal pain, urgency, vomiting[Ref]


Frequency not reported: ALT elevations, biliary colic, cholecystectomy, hepatic adverse reactions, intrahepatic cholestasis, lithiasis, lithocholate-like lesions in the canalicular membrane, serum transaminase elevations, toxic hepatitis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Anorexic, increased serum low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, increased serum total cholesterol, small decreases in serum triglyceride levels[Ref]

Serum total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol may increase by at least 10%.

Small decreases in serum triglycerides occurred in female patients.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Humerus fracture, foot operation, rheumatoid arthritis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Angina pectoris[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Pneumothorax[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Decreases in while cell count[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Urinary incontinence[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Cataract operation[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Fatigue[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Depression[Ref]


1. EMEA. European Medicines Agency "EPARs. European Union Public Assessment Reports." (2007):

2. "Product Information. Chenodal (chenodeoxycholic acid)." Manchester Pharmaceutical (2009):

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.