Urso, or generic Ursodiol - Ursodeoxycholic Acid, is a medication that helps regulate bile and cholesterol production. Urso may be prescribed to treat some types of gallstones in patients and avoid gall bladder surgery as well as to prevent gallstones in overweight patients that are undergoing a rapid weight loss. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
Some pregnant women during their last trimester could experience obstetric cholestasis and may be recommended to take Urso to relieve their symptoms of an intense itchiness in your hands and/or feet that has no sign of a rash…just itchy. This can occur as a result of the weight and pressure of your ‘yet to be born’ baby interfering with the flow of bile.
When taken as directed, Urso works by blocking an enzyme in your liver so cholesterol production is decreased and will help break down cholesterol that has formed into stones in your gallbladder. Cholesterol is one of the substances that your liver cells secrete into bile which is how it is eliminated from your body. Urso, also called Actigall, is usually prescribed as part of the treatment for cholestatic liver disease, and should be taken by mouth with food.
You can take Urso if you have certain forms of cholestatic liver disease, including cholesterol-based gallstones or primary biliary cirrhosis. These conditions tend to manifest with symptoms like nausea and vomiting, as well as with severe abdominal pain and yellowing of the skin.
Primary biliary cirrhosis is a progressive liver disease that results from a buildup of bile in your liver that could cause damage to the small bile ducts that work to drain bile from your liver. If this disease is not diagnosed or treated early, the built-up pressure of the bile can destroy the bile ducts and more liver cells die and you run the risk of cirrhosis or liver failure. Urso will help by decreasing cholesterol production and increasing bile production.
Urso may not be right for you if you have an obstruction of the liver or gallbladder. Before taking the drug, you should tell your doctor if you have been coughing up blood or if you have recently gained a lot of weight. Discuss other medical conditions and allergies with your doctor and list all over the counter and Rx drugs you take or use so it can be determined if Urso is the best treatment for your situation.
Avoid the use of antacids during treatment, as they may restrict your ability to absorb its active ingredients. You should not take Urso if you have an obstruction in your liver or gall bladder. Urso and other medications should be kept safely out of children’s reach and never shared with anyone else. Until you know how Urso will affect you, do not drive or take part in any activity that requires you to be alert and clear headed.