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Actigall is a bile acid that comes in either capsules or tablets available in 250MG. This medication is used to treat primary biliary cirrhosis. That is when your liver has taken too much damage over time and healthy tissue has now become scar tissue. When this happens, the liver begins to work less and less. The liver is used to create bile (what breaks down the food in your stomach) and also removes harmful material from your body, like alcohol. When your body can no longer create this bile, one would begin using Actigall to help create what is lost.
It is also used to treat those who cannot have gallbladder surgery, by dissolving the gallstone instead. Unfortunately, it will not help a gallstone that has already calcified. It is also used to help prevent gallstones from occurring while undergoing rapid weight loss.
Ursodiol (the active ingredient in Actigall) works by decreasing the amount of cholesterol produced (which is what gallstones are often created out of) and break down any gallstones that have started forming (not yet calcified and made out of cholesterol)
Be sure to follow directions given by your doctor and never take more or less than directed.
This medication is best taken with food and can be split into two halves if needed. (Half tablets are good for up to 28 days when kept in original container. Do not break it into further pieces and do not chew, swallow each segment whole with water or food.
This medication must be used regularly in order to reach full effectiveness.
For gallstone disease
Adults and children 12 and up- 8MG-10MG (milligram) per KG (kilogram) of body weight per day. Can be divided into two or three doses.
Children under 12- Determined by your doctor
For prevention of gallstones during rapid weight loss
Adults and children 12 and up – 300MG twice a day
For primary biliary cirrhosis
Adults- 13MG-15MG per KG of body weight per day. Can be divided into two to four doses.
Children- Determined by your doctor
You should not take Actigall if you have an obstruction in your liver or gallbladder.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have recently gained weight (mainly in face and mid section) or have been coughing up blood.
It is not known yet if Ursodiol passes into breast milk yet, breast feeding mothers should be aware of the unknown possibilities.
If you are taking cholestyramine or colestipol, they will need to be taken at separate times from Actigall. Ask your doctor what a good interval in between doses would be. Biliary obstruction and hepatic impairment are the two drug-disease interactions with Actigall.
Common Side Effects:
If any of the above side effects are prolonged or begin to worry you, speak to your doctor about alternative medications.
What are my chances of experiencing side effects?
We all face the risk of side effects when we take drugs, no matter what factors exist, however, if you are a child or elderly you may be more susceptible to side effects.
Once gallstones are dissolved, are they gone forever?
Unfortunately, not all gallstones completely dissolve when using this medication and you may end up developing new gallstones within 5 years of treatment. Your doctor should be able to help narrow down the risk with you.
How long does it take for ursodiol to work?
You should have improvement within 3 – 6 weeks of treatment
Is it ok to take Tylenol while using this medication?
There have been no interactions between Tylenol and ursodiol, however that does not mean it does not form a risk. Consult your doctor before mixing two medications.
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