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Gallstones - Medications

Medicines are rarely used to treat gallstones.

Medicine choices

Bile acids can be used to dissolve gallstones. They usually are reserved for people who have symptoms of gallstones and for whom surgery would be risky.

What to think about

Gallstones often come back when treatment with bile acids is stopped. Over time, gallstones return in about half of those who stop taking the medicine.2

This form of treatment works better on small gallstones than on large ones. It does not work on calcified gallstones. Tests such as an abdominal X-ray may be used to find out whether gallstones contain calcium.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 05, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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