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Chenodeoxycholic acid

What is it?

Chenodeoxycholic acid is a bile acid that is used to treat gallstones.

Other names for chenodeoxycholic acid include: Chenodiol, Chenic Acid, and CDCA.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

Talk with your caregiver about how much chenodeoxycholic acid you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking chenodeoxycholic acid. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Warnings:

  • Before taking chenodeoxycholic acid, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Do not take chenodeoxycholic acid if you have bile duct stones (1)
  • A low-fat (low-cholesterol) diet may increase the effects of chenodeoxycholic acid (5)
  • A high fiber diet may increase the effectiveness of chenodeoxycholic acid (6)
  • Do not take chenodeoxycholic acid if you have known liver disease (1)
  • Do not take chenodeoxycholic acid if you have inflammatory bowel disease (3)
  • Do not take chenodeoxycholic acid if you have a stomach or intestinal ulcer (3)

Side Effects:

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hand, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash.
  • Dark urine, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, severe stomach pain, yellow eyes or skin (9)

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Constipation, cramps, gas or stomach pain, heartburn, loss of appetite, throwing up, upset stomach, (3,7)
  • Diarrhea (7,8)
  • Hypercholesterolemia (increased amounts of cholesterol in your blood) (7)
  • Hypotriglyceridemia (decreased amounts of triglycerides in your blood) (7)

References:

1. Way LW: The National Cooperative Gallstone Study and chenodiol. Gastroenterology 1983; 84(3):648-651.

2. Bennion LJ & Grundy SM: Risk factors for the development of cholelithiasis in man. N Engl J Med 1978; 299:1161-1167, 1221-1227.

3. Product Information: Chenix(R), chenodiol. Reid-Rowell, Marietta, GA; 1987.

4. USPDI: Drug Information for the Health Care Professional, 20th ed. Micromedex Inc, Englewood, CO; 2000.

5. Zak RA, Marks JW & Schoenfield LJ: Current status of chenodeoxycholic acid (chenodiol) therapy of cholesterol gallstones. Sem Liver Dis 1983; 3:132-145.

6. Pomare EW, Heaton KKW, Low-Beer TS et al: The effect of wheat bran, upon bile salt metabolism and upon the lipid composition of bile in gallstone patients. Am J Dig Dis 1976; 21(7):521-526.

7. Schoenfield LJ & Lachin JM: Chenodiol (chenodeoxycholic acid) for dissolution of gallstones: The National Cooperative Gallstone Study. A controlled study of efficacy and safety. Ann Intern Med 1981; 95:257-282.

8. Dowling RH: Chenodeoxycholic acid therapy of gallstones. Clin Gastroenterol 1977; 6:141-163.

9. Fisher RL, Anderson DW, Boyer JL et al: A prospective morphologic evaluation of hepatic toxicity of chenodeoxycholic acid in patients with cholelithiasis: The National Cooperative Gallstone Study. Hepatology 1982; 2:187-201.

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Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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