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Urso side effects

Over the past week I've been having diarrhea (it comes and goes). I know that can be a side effect of Ursodiol, but I've been on the Urso for about 3 months now, and this only started a week ago.

I've been eating the same things as always, and apart from the diarrhea I feel the same as usual. I thought that side effects started soon after starting medication and then cleared up. Could this be a delayed side effect?

I know people on Urso shouldn't take Pepto-Bismol; is there anything I can do to help the diarrhea go away, or do I just have to wait it out?

10 Replies

Hello Nissa.

Well I'd not be surprised if your diarrhoea was caused by the urso. It is apparently listed on the med leaflet as being one.

Also I think you could find that maybe an adjusting of the dose might alleviate it but you'd have to seek medical advice there as I expect with the blood results it can be discussed.

For myself, I suffered several months when starting on urso Dec 2010. For me I got a bloated feeling and also heartburn. That settled after a few months but I did start to feel constipated despite eating the same diet I did prior to starting urso. I have ended up slightly upping my fibre intake and normally I am quite normal these days.

I did notice back Sept I was feeling like I did on originally starting urso and only grabbing the tablets as thought they might be different and noticed the brand name of URDOX had vanished off the packaging. On checking, it is apparently same drug company but they are selling them to the NHS cheaper. I think the bulking agents on these may be slightly different to the ones I had been taking since Dec 2010 and it is only recently that seems to have settled again.

I think that taking urso and it being a form of bile acid, I suppose we never know. I have read on this site that some of you are prone to diarrhoea with taking urso and the odd one or two who have mentioned they started feeling constipated after starting it. Don't know if this helps but when I was growing up if any of my siblings or I had a short bout of diarrhoea our mother would make cornflour up with milk into hot white sauce as it was apparently a remedy. Suppose could be something in it, after all cornflour is gluten-free and at the end of the day it's not like taking a chemical substitute.

Make sure you drink plenty of fluids with your current sympton and let us all know how you are getting on.


Hi Nissa sounds as if its unlikely to be the urso unless you have had dosage changed. It could just be a stomach virus if so best thing to do is rest the bowel i.e. no food for 24hrs just drink plenty of water or diarrhoeal treatments to help prevent dehydration such as diarrholite (maybe spelt wrong but ask pharmacist). I not settled with that seek medical attention as could be a symptom of several different things better to get it investigated. Hope you feel better soon. Bfn.


My son when he was a toddler used to go through a lot of runny nose symptons and then he'd start being sick due to swallowing the mucus. He'd have occasional diarrhoea following.

Then he couldn't seem to keep anything down and one GP who did call to the house said he didn't recommend Diarolyte for anyone who had diarrhoea or was attempting to keep a good intake of fluids up when feeling sick. He suggested buying some coke and letting it go flat and taking sips of that as he said that it had a good amount of salts and sugars in it and basically it was far more palatable to have than this Diarolyte stuff (not to mention cheaper).


no diarrhea, but constipation and i take fiber now, which has helped tremendously. i also cut back my urso to one a day and blood works have remained stable. Merry Christmas everyone.


Thanks for the replies. I am feeling better today (but I'll keep the cornflour and milk in mind).


Last week I found myselft getting up at 3a.m. and being sick though I'd not had anything to eat for about 7hrs. It persisted through the next 12hrs or thereabouts and I then developed diarrhoea which didn't last. I didn't have anything to eat for 24hrs but I did have the one glass of coke (the sugar variety, loathe the artificial sweeteners) that I left to go flat (and I am no fizzy drinks person at all, never touch the stuff).

The following day I just ate and drank light and by the end of the 2nd day I felt normal again. A couple of my family also had this bug which does sound like the one that is sweeping that nation at the moment. The strangest thing about having this sort of 24hr bug for me was that the evening of the day I never had anything at all to eat and only a glass of coke during the day, I didn't itch that night!!! I have noticed this before and put it down to the fact that if one doesn't eat then one doesn't the release of bile into the system plus also that day I didn't take urso either due to not eating. Must say doing without anything to eat for 24hrs didn't seem to me to have anything of detrimental significance to my health and I thought a few days later it might have even been of some benefit. Of couirse I'm one of the unfortunates these days if I don't eat very well I do lose quite a few pounds in a day but I am still doing exceptionally well.

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I'm glad you found something that works for you. I can't go that long without eating though. I usually try to eat every 3 to 4 hours- if I go longer than that I start to feel shaky and light headed. I've had my blood sugar tested, and they didn't find any problems, but I don't think I could go all day with out food.


Hi Nissa, like you I must eat or I feel really ill and shaky, when I've told the Dr's this they just look at me as if I've two heads and then they just shrug!


Hi Peridot I have found that not eating does help with the itch but sadly we need to eat to stay fit and healthy. It may be that your itch like mine is made worse with the urso I have found the itch much much less and what there is is mild and tolerable since I stopped it in mid Aug, however my lfts are on the rise so my liver obviously is missing it but the only way will know for sure if this is the case is to go back on the urso but am loathed to do that as feeling better than I have in 11yrs ironicallly. I am going to write a blogg on this issue soon whenever I have had bloods done again to see what the state of play is re the lfts and thus how my liver is doing. Hope you have a very happy christmas and that the itch stays away or is only mildly irritating! If you haven't read my blogg have a look think I have a few tips in there re the darned itch that I have learnt over the 11yrs since I took PBC.


Hi Peridot, I was always told by my Dr no food for a day and to give the children flat coke if they had a tummy bug, or if that was not possible to put a tsp of sugar in boiled water with the tiniest pinch of salt. This always seemed to work


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