Generic Drug Name: Ursodiol
Other Common Names: Actigall
Ursodiol is a bile acid that is commonly used in small animals as an adjunctive therapy for managing cholesterol-containing gallstones and/or in patients with chronic liver disease. It may also be helpful with slowing progression of inflammatory hepatic disorders such as autoimmune hepatitis and acute hepatotoxicity.
Ursodiol should not be used in rabbits and other hindgut fermenters. Caution should be exercised when using in patients with complications from gallstones. Ursodiol may be useful in treating patients with chronic liver disease, but may also cause further impairment of bile acid metabolism.
While adverse symptoms caused by ursodiol are rare, some patients may experience diarrhea and other GI effects. It should be noted that ursodiol has no effect on calcified radiopaque stones or radiolucent bile pigment stones.
Ursodiol should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. A veterinarian should be contacted immediately if any alarming symptoms appear or if an overdose is suspected. The primary symptom of ursodiol overdose is diarrhea.
Ursodiol should be kept at room temperature out of reach from children and animals. It should be stored in a childproof, light resistant container that is securely sealed.
When using ursodiol to treat chronic hepatitis in dogs and cats, a typical dose ranges from 5-15 mg/kg once daily or divided into 2 doses a day. A dose of 11-15.4 mg/kg once daily or divided into 2 doses a day is useful for treating dogs and cats with active hepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. When treating liver disease in birds, a typical dose is 10-15 mg/kg once daily. If a dose is forgotten, it should be administered as soon as possible. If it is nearing time for the next scheduled dose, the missed dose should be skipped and the normal schedule should continue. Two doses should not be administered at the same time.
Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.