Drugs and Medications to Treat Gallbladder Stone

Gallbladder Stone The cause of gallbladder stone is often unclear. Excess cholesterol or bilirubin in the bile is usually associated with increased risk of formation of stones in the gallbladder. Gallstones may even occur if your gallbladder fails to empty appropriately. Symptoms of gallstones develop only when it obstructs a duct. You may avoid medical treatment, if the gallstone does not cause pain and discomfort.

Although surgical removal of the gallbladder is considered the best option for treating gallstones, medications that help to dissolve gallstones are sometimes recommended for patients who are unsuitable for surgery.

Medications to Treat Gallbladder Stone


Chenodiol or chenodeoxycholic acid is a type of bile acid. It may help to dissolve non-calcified gallstones. People with gallstones who are reluctant to undergo surgery or have a high risk of developing health complication following surgery are occasionally recommended chenodiol for treating gallstones. Chenodiol works slowly. It may take about two years to dissolve the gallstone. To realize the maximum benefit of the drug, it should be taken daily, twice a day, for a prolonged period. The exact dosage of the drug depends on the response to treatment, body weight and condition of health.

Diarrhea, a common side effect of chenodiol, can be avoided by taking low doses of the drug at the early stage of the treatment. The dosage is gradually increased. However, in case of severe diarrhea, your physician may consider stopping the drug. Nausea and heartburn are other possible side effects of chenodiol.

Antacids containing aluminum and cholesterol lowering drugs may reduce absorption of chenodiol. Chenodiol may interact with birth control pills, blood thinning drugs and clofibrate.


Ursodiol or ursodeoxycholic acid is a secondary bile acid. It prevents cholesterol gallstones by dissolving cholesterol in the bile. Ursodiol is recommended for dissolving gallstones and preventing formation of gallstones. Overweight or obese people losing weight rapidly can avoid the risk of developing gallstones with the help of ursodiol. To dissolve gallstones, ursodiol should be taken twice or thrice a day. Gallstones may be prevented by taking the drug twice daily. The drug acts slowly. It usually takes several months to dissolve cholesterol gallstones with ursodiol. Regular intake of the drug for about two years helps to dissolve the gallstone completely. To prevent recurrent formation of gallstones, ursodiol should be taken for a prolonged period, even after the symptoms of gallstones subside.


Absorption of ursodiol may be impaired by antacids containing aluminum and certain cholesterol reducing drugs. Your physician may ask you to skip oral contraceptives and certain lipid lowering medications while using ursodiol for treating gallstones.Diarrhea, stomach upset, dizziness, vomiting, sore throat, back pain, hair loss and joint and muscle pain are possible side effects of ursodiol.

Methyl Tert Butyl Ether (MTBE)

Injecting MTBE into the gallbladder helps to dissolve gallstones. This process of dissolving gallstones with the help of an organic solvent is more effective than the aforementioned oral dissolution therapy. It takes about five to twelve hours to dissolve gallstone with the help of MTBE injections. Severe pain is a common side effect of this therapy.

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