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.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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.© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.