chenodiol (chenodeoxycholic acid)

Pronunciation: KEE noe DYE ol (KEE noe dee OX i KOL ik AS id)

Brand: Chenodal

What is the most important information I should know about chenodiol?

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

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

What is chenodiol?

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

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

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

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking chenodiol?

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

  • you are pregnant;
  • you have a bile duct obstruction or other disorder;
  • you have pancreatitis related to your gallstones;
  • you have cirrhosis or other liver disease; or
  • you have a blockage in your digestive tract (stomach or intestines).

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

Do not use chenodiol 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 chenodiol?

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

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

Chenodiol is usually given for no longer than 2 years.

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

Chenodiol 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. Chenodiol 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 chenodiol?

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

What are the possible side effects of chenodiol?

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:

  • worsening or no improvement of your gallstone symptoms;
  • severe or ongoing diarrhea; or
  • liver problems --loss of appetite, upper stomach pain, tiredness, easy bruising or bleeding, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Common side effects may include:

  • mild stomach cramps; or
  • abnormal blood tests (low white blood cells, high cholesterol or triglycerides).

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 chenodiol?

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

  • cholestyramine;
  • colestipol;
  • birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy;
  • antacids that contain aluminum --Almacone, Gelusil, Maalox, Mag-al Plus, Mylanta, Rulox, and others; or
  • a blood thinner --warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven.

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.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about chenodiol.

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