Chenodiol is used to dissolve certain types of gallstones (non-calcified). Chenodiol is a bile acid. Chenodiol may be tried before surgery in patients that are at high risk of complications from gallstone surgery. If the gallstones do not dissolve, emergency surgery may still be needed.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually twice a day: once in the morning and once at night, or as directed by your doctor.
Dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, and response to treatment.
Aluminum-containing antacids and certain drugs to lower your cholesterol (bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol) can decrease how much of this medication your body absorbs. If you are taking any of these medications, separate them from chenodiol by at least 4 hours.
To reduce your risk of side effects such as diarrhea, your doctor will direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Tell your doctor if you have severe diarrhea. Your doctor may need to lower your dose or stop the medication.
Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often without your doctor's approval. Your condition will not improve any faster, and the risk of serious side effects may be increased.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. Do not stop taking this medication without talking with your doctor.
It may take up to 24 months before the gall stones are completely dissolved. Your doctor will order tests (gall bladder sonograms or x-rays) to check your progress. Keep all medical appointments. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens (stomach/abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting).
Diarrhea, nausea, or heartburn may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This drug may cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Your doctor will order blood tests to check for liver problems. It is very important to keep all lab appointments. Seek immediate medical attention if you have any symptoms of liver damage, including: yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, unusual/extreme tiredness, severe stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking chenodiol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver problems (such as hepatitis, cirrhosis), a certain red blood cell problem (hemolysis), regular use/abuse of alcohol.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This medication must not be used during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Estrogen-containing birth control may increase your risk of gall stones. Discuss the use of reliable forms of birth control with your doctor. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.
To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: clofibrate/fenofibrate, estrogens (such as estradiol, estrogen pills/patch/cream, birth control pills/patch/ring), "blood thinners" (such as warfarin).
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as liver tests, cholesterol tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Maintaining a normal weight and a diet high in fiber (such as bran) and low in cholesterol/carbohydrates may help prevent gall stones. Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or nutritionist for more information.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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