Medication for Gallstones
The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medications listed below. Only the most general side effects are included, ask your doctor if you need to take any special precautions. Use each of these medications only as recommended or prescribed by your doctor. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your doctor.
- Ursodiol (Ursodeoxycholic Acid)
- Chenodiol (Chenodeoxycholic Acid)
Bile acids are used to dissolve certain types of gallstones. It may take months or years before all the stones dissolve.
Note: Do not take Ursodiol with aluminum-containing antacids, such as AlternaGEL or Maalox Advanced Regular Strength, because the aluminum may interfere with the action of ursodiol.
A possible side effect is mild diarrhea.
- Diclofenac (Voltaren)
- Ketorolac (Toradol)
These medications are prescription NSAIDs used to relieve pain caused by gallstones.
Possible side effects include:
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen, to control pain
When to Contact Your Doctor
Severe abdominal pain, stomach pain, or severe nausea and vomiting may be a sign that you have another medical problem or that your gallstones require a different treatment.
Whenever you are taking a prescription medication, take the following precautions:
- Take your medicine as directed. Do not change the amount or the schedule.
- Do not stop taking your medicine without talking to your doctor.
- Do not share your medicine.
- Ask what the results and side effects may be. Report them to your doctor if any occur.
- Some drugs can be dangerous when mixed with other medications. Talk to a doctor or pharmacist if you are taking more than one medication. This includes over-the-counter medicine and herb or dietary supplements.
- Plan ahead for refills so you don’t run out.
Last reviewedSeptember 2014by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.