Ursodiol and Ursodeoxycholic acid (Rx)
Ursodiol is a bile acid used in dogs and cats to treat certain liver and gallbladder diseases. It is commonly used also to manage gallstones that may contain cholesterol.
WHAT IS THIS DRUG?
- A naturally-occurring bile acid (ursodeoxycholic acid)
- Given by mouth
REASONS FOR PRESCRIBING:
- Used to treat some kinds of liver and gallbladder diseases
- May be useful to help remove gallstones containing cholesterol
WHAT DOGS/CATS SHOULD NOT TAKE THIS MEDICATION?
- Safe use in pregnant or nursing pets is unknown
- Use with caution in pets with complications of gallstones, such as pancreatitis, bile duct obstruction or inflammation of the gallbladder or bile ducts
- Do not use in rabbits, guinea pigs or animals with similar digestive systems (very toxic to them)
- If your pet has had an earlier allergic reaction to ursodiol or other bile acid-like products
Read and follow the label carefully.
Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed. It is usually given once or twice a day and may be given long-term.
Give this medication with an oily/fatty meal unless otherwise instructed.
Give this medication for as long as veterinarian directs. Do not skip doses or stop giving the medication without consulting your veterinarian.
Commercially available ursodiol may not be suitably sized for your pet. Your veterinarian may have a special formulation compounded for your pet to achieve the correct dose. Follow the labeled directions carefully.
Shake liquids well before use and measure carefully.
Ensure your pet has access to plenty of fresh drinking water.
Periodic blood work to monitor its effect is also advised if long-term therapy is necessary.
Call ahead for refills.
Ideally, give the medication at the same time(s) daily.
WHAT IF A DOSE IS MISSED?
If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.
STORAGE AND WARNINGS:
Store in a tight, light resistant, childproof container in a cool, dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight.
Liquid forms should be discarded according to expiry date shown on label.
Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets.
Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS:
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and diarrhea in some animals
- May worsen liver disease in some animals. Watch for vomiting, depression or jaundice (yellow gums, skin or eyes).
- Possible depletion of the body's supply of taurine. Supplementation may be necessary in cats.
- If you notice these symptoms or anything else unusual, contact your veterinarian
CAN THIS DRUG BE GIVEN WITH OTHER DRUGS?
- Yes, but possible interactions may occur with acetaminophen, aluminum-containing antacids (ex. Amphojel, Maalox, Mylanta), cholestyramine (Questran®), vitamins and supplements
- If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian.
Contact your veterinarian immediately if pet receives more than the prescribed amount.
WHAT TO TELL/ASK VETERINARIAN BEFORE GIVING MEDICATION?
Talk to your veterinarian about:
- When will your pet need to be rechecked
- What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
- What are the risks and benefits of using this drug
Tell your veterinarian about:
- If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
- If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
- If your pet has experienced kidney disease now or ever
- If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
- All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet's medicines can be given together.
- If your pet is pregnant or nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW?
Notify your veterinarian if your animal's condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.
As with all prescribed medicines, ursodiol should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed. It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.
This is just a summary of information about ursodiol. If you have any questions or concerns about ursodiol or the condition it was prescribed for, contact your veterinarian.