Health Guide

Chenodiol (By mouth)

Chenodiol (kee-noe-DYE-ol)

Dissolves gallstones.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to chenodiol or other bile acids, you are pregnant, or you have liver disease or bile duct problems.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Take this medicine exactly as directed.
  • It is best to take this medicine with food or milk.
  • Keep taking the medicine for as long as directed. It may take several months for the medicine to dissolve the stones.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not take chenodiol with antacids that contain aluminum.
  • Some medicines can affect how chenodiol works. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
    • Cholestyramine or colestipol
    • Coumarin
    • Estrogen or birth control pills
    • Medicine to lower cholesterol levels, such as clofibrate

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while you are taking this medicine.
  • You must see your doctor for regular tests to make sure that your liver is working properly and that the gallstone is dissolving.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Severe nausea and vomiting
  • Severe stomach pain, especially on the upper right side

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Gas or indigestion

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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