Ursodiol

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Ursodiol
Adult Indications & Dosage
Pediatric Indications & Dosage
Contraindications
Warnings & Precautions
Adverse Reactions
Drug Interactions
Use in Specific Populations
Administration & Monitoring
Overdosage
Pharmacology
Clinical Studies
How Supplied
Images
Patient Counseling Information
Precautions with Alcohol
Brand Names
Look-Alike Names

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Adeel Jamil, M.D. [2]

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Overview

Ursodiol is a bile acid and gastrointestinal agent that is FDA approved for the treatment of chemodissolution of gall bladder stone, prevention of gallstone formation in obese patients experiencing rapid weight loss and primary biliary cirrhosis. Common adverse reactions include rash, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, backache, dizziness, bronchitis, cough, pharyngitis and upper respiratory infection.

Adult Indications and Dosage

FDA-Labeled Indications and Dosage (Adult)

Dosing Information

Gallstone Dissolution
  • The recommended dose for ursodiol treatment of radiolucent gallbladder stones is 8 - 10 mg/kg/day given in 2 or 3 divided doses. Ultrasound images of the gallbladder should be obtained at 6-month intervals for the first year of ursodiol therapy to monitor gallstone response. If gallstones appear to have dissolved, ursodiol therapy should be continued and dissolution confirmed on a repeat ultrasound examination within 1 to 3 months. Most patients who eventually achieve complete stone dissolution will show partial or complete dissolution at the first on-treatment reevaluation. If partial stone dissolution is not seen by 12 months of ursodiol therapy, the likelihood of success is greatly reduced.
Gallstone Prevention

Off-Label Use and Dosage (Adult)

Guideline-Supported Use

There is limited information regarding Off-Label Guideline-Supported Use of Ursodiol in adult patients.

Non–Guideline-Supported Use

Pediatric Indications and Dosage

FDA-Labeled Indications and Dosage (Pediatric)

There is limited information regarding FDA-Labeled Use of Ursodiol in pediatric patients.

Off-Label Use and Dosage (Pediatric)

Guideline-Supported Use

There is limited information regarding Off-Label Guideline-Supported Use of Ursodiol in pediatric patients.

Non–Guideline-Supported Use

Contraindications

Warnings

PRECAUTIONS

Liver Tests
  • Abnormalities in liver enzymes have not been associated with ursodiol therapy and, in fact, ursodiol has been shown to decrease liver enzyme levels in liver disease. However, patients given ursodiol should have SGOT (AST) and SGPT (ALT) measured at the initiation of therapy and thereafter as indicated by the particular clinical circumstances.

Adverse Reactions

Clinical Trials Experience

  • The nature and frequency of adverse experiences were similar across all groups.
  • The following tables provide comprehensive listings of the adverse experiences reported that occurred with a 5% incidence level:
This image is provided by the National Library of Medicine.
This image is provided by the National Library of Medicine.
  • Gallstone Dissolution In Ursodiol and Placebo Patients
This image is provided by the National Library of Medicine.
This image is provided by the National Library of Medicine.
  • Gallstone Prevention in Ursodiol and Placebo-Treated Patients

Postmarketing Experience

There is limited information regarding Postmarketing Experience of Ursodiol in the drug label.

Drug Interactions

Use in Specific Populations

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category (FDA): B

  • Reproduction studies have been performed in rats and rabbits with ursodiol doses up to 200-fold the therapeutic dose and have revealed no evidence of impaired fertility or harm to the fetus at doses of 20- to 100-fold the human dose in rats and at 5-fold the human dose (highest dose tested) in rabbits. Studies employing 100- to 200-fold the human dose in rats have shown some reduction in fertility rate and litter size. There have been no adequate and well-controlled studies of the use of ursodiol in pregnant women, but inadvertent exposure of 4 women to therapeutic doses of the drug in the first trimester of pregnancy during the ursodiol trials led to no evidence of effects on the fetus or newborn baby. Although it seems unlikely, the possibility that ursodiol can cause fetal harm cannot be ruled out; hence, the drug is not recommended for use during pregnancy.


Pregnancy Category (AUS):

  • Australian Drug Evaluation Committee (ADEC) Pregnancy Category

There is no Australian Drug Evaluation Committee (ADEC) guidance on usage of Ursodiol in women who are pregnant.

Labor and Delivery

There is no FDA guidance on use of Ursodiol during labor and delivery.

Nursing Mothers

  • It is not known whether ursodiol is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when ursodiol is administered to a nursing mother.

Pediatric Use

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Ursodiol with respect to pediatric patients.

Geriatic Use

  • In worldwide clinical studies of ursodiol, approximately 14% of subjects were over 65 years of age (approximately 3% were over 75 years old). In a subgroup analysis of existing clinical trials, patients greater than 56 years of age did not exhibit statistically significantly different complete dissolution rates from the younger population. No age-related differences in safety and effectiveness were found. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in response in elderly and younger patients. However, small differences in efficacy and greater sensitivity of some elderly individuals taking ursodiol cannot be ruled out. Therefore, it is recommended that dosing proceed with caution in this population.

Gender

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Ursodiol with respect to specific gender populations.

Race

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Ursodiol with respect to specific racial populations.

Renal Impairment

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Ursodiol in patients with renal impairment.

Hepatic Impairment

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Ursodiol in patients with hepatic impairment.

Females of Reproductive Potential and Males

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Ursodiol in women of reproductive potentials and males.

Immunocompromised Patients

There is no FDA guidance one the use of Ursodiol in patients who are immunocompromised.

Administration and Monitoring

Administration

  • Oral

Monitoring

There is limited information regarding Monitoring of Ursodiol in the drug label.

  • Description

IV Compatibility

There is limited information regarding IV Compatibility of Ursodiol in the drug label.

Overdosage

  • Neither accidental nor intentional overdosing with Ursodiol has been reported. Doses of Ursodiol in the range of 16 - 20 mg/kg/day have been tolerated for 6 - 37 months without symptoms by 7 patients. The LD50 for ursodiol in rats is over 5000 mg/kg given over 7 - 10 days and over 7500 mg/kg for mice. The most likely manifestation of severe overdose with ursodiol would probably be diarrhea, which should be treated symptomatically.

Pharmacology

Ursodeoxycholic acid acsv.png
Ursodeoxycholic acid ball-and-stick.png
Ursodeoxycholic acid
Systematic (IUPAC) name
3α,7β-dihydroxy-5β-cholan-24-oic acid
OR
(R)-4-((3R,5S,7S,8R,9S,10S,13R,14S,17R)-3,7-dihydroxy-
10,13-dimethylhexadecahydro-
1H-cyclopenta[a]phenanthren-17-yl)pentanoic acid
Identifiers
CAS number 128-13-2
ATC code A05AA02
PubChem 31401
DrugBank DB01586
Chemical data
Formula C24H40O4 
Mol. mass 392.56 g/mol
SMILES eMolecules & PubChem
Synonyms ursodeoxycholic acid, Actigall, Ursosan, Urso, Urso Forte
Physical data
Melt. point 203 °C (397 °F)
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability ?
Metabolism ?
Half life ?
Excretion ?
Therapeutic considerations
Licence data

US

Pregnancy cat.

B3(AU) B(US)

Legal status

Prescription Only (S4)(AU) ?(CA) POM(UK) -only(US)

Routes oral

Mechanism of Action

Structure

  • Ursodiol is a bile acid available as 300 mg capsules suitable for oral administration.
  • Ursodeoxycholic acid,is a naturally occurring bile acid found in small quantities in normal human bile and in the biles of certain other mammals. It is a bitter-tasting, white powder freely soluble in ethanol, methanol, and glacial acetic acid; sparingly soluble in chloroform; slightly soluble in ether; and insoluble in water. The chemical name for ursodiol is 3α,7β-Dihydroxy-5β-cholan-24-oic acid (C24H40O4). Ursodiol, USP has a molecular weight of 392.57. Its structure is shown below:
This image is provided by the National Library of Medicine.

Pharmacodynamics

  • With repeated dosing, bile ursodeoxycholic acid concentrations reach a steady state in about 3 weeks. Although insoluble in aqueous media, cholesterol can be solubilized in at least two different ways in the presence of dihydroxy bile acids. In addition to solubilizing cholesterol in micelles, ursodiol acts by an apparently unique mechanism to cause dispersion of cholesterol as liquid crystals in aqueous media. Thus, even though administration of high doses (e.g., 15 - 18 mg/kg/day) does not result in a concentration of ursodiol higher than 60% of the total bile acid pool, ursodiol-rich bile effectively solubilizes cholesterol. The overall effect of ursodiol is to increase the concentration level at which saturation of cholesterol occurs.
  • After ursodiol dosing is stopped, the concentration of the bile acid in bile falls exponentially, declining to about 5% - 10% of its steady state level in about 1 week.

Pharmacokinetics

|glyco-]] and tauro-ursodeoxycholic acid in the small bowel. Free ursodiol, 7-keto-lithocholic acid, and lithocholic acid are relatively insoluble in and larger proportions of these compounds are lost from the distal gut into the feces. Reabsorbed free ursodiol is reconjugated by the liver. Eighty percent of lithocholic acid formed in the small bowel is excreted in the feces, but the 20% that is absorbed is sulfated at the 3-hydroxyl group in the liver to relatively insoluble lithocholyl conjugates which are excreted into bile and lost in feces. Absorbed 7-keto-lithocholic acid is stereospecifically reduced in the liver to chenodiol.

Nonclinical Toxicology

There is limited information regarding Nonclinical Toxicology of Ursodiol in the drug label.

Clinical Studies

Gallstone Dissolution
  • On the basis of clinical trial results in a total of 868 patients with radiolucent gallstones treated in 8 studies (three in the U.S. involving 282 patients, one in the U.K. involving 130 patients, and four in Italy involving 456 patients) for periods ranging from 6 - 78 months with ursodiol doses ranging from about 5 - 20 mg/kg/day, an ursodiol dose of about 8 - 10 mg/kg/day appeared to be the best dose.
  • With an ursodiol dose of about 10 mg/kg/day, complete stone dissolution can be anticipated in about 30% of unselected patients with uncalcified gallstones < 20 mm in maximal diameter treated for up to 2 years. Patients with calcified gallstones prior to treatment, or patients who develop stone calcification or gallbladder nonvisualization on treatment, and patients with stones > 20 mm in maximal diameter rarely dissolve their stones. The chance of gallstone dissolution is increased up to 50% in patients with floating or floatable stones (i.e., those with high cholesterol content), and is inversely related to stone size for those < 20 mm in maximal diameter.
  • Complete dissolution was observed in 81% of patients with stones up to 5 mm in diameter. Age, sex, weight, degree of obesity, and serum cholesterol level are not related to the chance of stone dissolution with ursodiol.
  • A nonvisualizing gallbladder by oral cholecystogram prior to the initiation of therapy is not a contraindication to ursodiol therapy (the group of patients with nonvisualizing gallbladders in the ursodiol studies had complete stone dissolution rates similar to the group of patients with visualizing gallbladders). However, gallbladder nonvisualization developing during ursodiol treatment predicts failure of complete stone dissolution and in such cases therapy should be discontinued. Partial stone dissolution occurring within 6 months of beginning therapy with ursodiol appears to be associated with a > 70% chance of eventual complete stone dissolution with further treatment; partial dissolution observed within 1 year of starting therapy indicates a 40% probability of complete dissolution. Stone recurrence after dissolution with ursodiol therapy was seen within 2 years in 8/27 (30%) of patients in the U.K. studies. Of 16 patients in the U.K. study whose stones had previously dissolved on chenodiol but later recurred, 11 had complete dissolution on ursodiol. Stone recurrence has been observed in up to 50% of patients within 5 years of complete stone dissolution on ursodiol therapy. Serial ultrasonographic examinations should be obtained to monitor for recurrence of stones, bearing in mind that radiolucency of the stones should be established before another course of ursodiol is instituted. A prophylactic dose of ursodiol has not been established.
Gallstone Prevention
  • Two placebo-controlled, multicenter, double-blind, randomized, parallel group trials in a total of 1,316 obese patients were undertaken to evaluate ursodiol in the prevention of gallstone formation in obese patients undergoing rapid weight loss. The first trial consisted of 1,004 obese patients with a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 38 who underwent weight loss induced by means of a very low calorie diet for a period of 16 weeks. An intent-to-treat analysis of this trial showed that gallstone formation occurred in 23% of the placebo group, while those patients on 300, 400, or 1200 mg/day of ursodiol experienced a 6%, 3%, and 2% incidence of gallstone formation, respectively. The mean weight loss for this 16-week trial was 47 lb for the placebo group, and 47, 48, and 50 lb for the 300, 400, and 1200 mg/day ursodiol groups, respectively.
  • The second trial consisted of 312 obese patients (BMI ≥ 40) who underwent rapid weight loss through gastric bypass surgery. The trial drug treatment period was for 6 months following this surgery. Results of this trial showed that gallstone formation occurred in 23% of the placebo group, while those patients on 300, 400, or 1200 mg/day of Ursodiol experienced a 9%, 1%, and 5% incidence of gallstone formation, respectively. The mean weight loss for this 6-month trial was 64 lb for the placebo group, and 67, 74, and 72 lb for the 300, 400, and 1200 mg/day ursodiol groups, respectively.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
  • Ursodeoxycholic acid was tested in 2-year oral carcinogenicity studies in CD-1 mice and Sprague-Dawley rats at daily doses of 50, 250, and 1000 mg/kg/day. It was not tumorigenic in mice. In the rat study, it produced statistically significant dose-related increased incidences of pheochromocytomas of adrenal medulla in males (p=0.014, Peto trend test) and females (p=0.004, Peto trend test). A 78-week rat study employing intrarectal instillation of lithocholic acid and tauro-deoxycholic acid, metabolites of ursodiol and chenodiol, has been conducted. These bile acids alone did not produce any tumors. A tumor-promoting effect of both metabolites was observed when they were co-administered with a carcinogenic agent. Results of epidemiologic studies suggest that bile acids might be involved in the pathogenesis of human colon cancer in patients who had undergone a cholecystectomy, but direct evidence is lacking. Ursodiol is not mutagenic in the Ames test. Dietary administration of lithocholic acid to chickens is reported to cause hepatic adenomatous hyperplasia.

How Supplied

Ursodiol Capsules USP, 300 mg are opaque white and pink capsules, filled with white powder. They are imprinted

“Є503” in black ink on cap and body and are supplied in bottles of 100 and 1000.

Keep out of reach of children.

Manufactured By:

Epic Pharma, LLC

Laurelton, NY 11413

Revised August 2014

MF503REV08/14

OE1105

Storage

  • Store at 20° - 25°C (68° - 77°F). Dispense contents in tight, light-resistant container as defined in the USP.

Images

Drug Images

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Package and Label Display Panel

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Patient Counseling Information

There is limited information regarding Patient Counseling Information of Ursodiol in the drug label.

Precautions with Alcohol

  • Alcohol-Ursodiol interaction has not been established. Talk to your doctor about the effects of taking alcohol with this medication.

Brand Names

  • Actigall®
  • Urso®
  • Urso 250®
  • Urso Forte®

Look-Alike Drug Names

There is limited information regarding Ursodiol Look-Alike Drug Names in the drug label.

Drug Shortage Status

Price

References

The contents of this FDA label are provided by the National Library of Medicine.


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