Using Dehydrocholic Acid to Improve Biliary Drainage in Animals

Dehydrocholic Acid is a man-made synthetic bile acid that is created by oxidizing cholic acid, a naturally occurring bile acid. It is most commonly used in veterinary medicine as a hydrocholeretic, a diuretic, a cholagogue, or as a diagnostic aid.

Pharmacology of Dehydrocholic Acid

Dehydrocholic Acid works as a stimulant laxative by increasing the volume and water content of the bile. The increased production and the higher water content helps to improve biliary drainage.

The increased volume of bile, along with the naturally occurring relaxation of the intestinal wall’s smooth muscles, promotes a very strong bowel movement reaction. The effects typically occur between six and twelve hours after the medication has been administrated.

Possible Side Effects of Dehydrocholic Acid

While Dehydrocholic Acid is safe and effective for use in veterinary medicine, some animals may be more sensitive and can experience certain side effects. Typical side effects associated with Dehydrocholic Acid include diarrhea, burping, general nausea, rectal irritation, and abdominal cramps.

Serious adverse effects include an allergic reaction such as the development of a skin rash, fever, difficulty with breathing, and/or swelling of the face or tongue. If the animal patient exhibits one or more of these reactions, be sure to contact the veterinarian immediately.

Dehydrocholic Acid Precautions

Since Dehydrocholic Acid promotes a laxative effect, it should not be taken within two hours of taking any other veterinary medications, as it may interfere with the absorption of the other drugs.

This medication should not be administered to an animal suffering from liver disease, appendicitis, inflamed bowel, or an intestinal blockage. It should be used with extreme caution if the patient is suffering from an enlarged prostate, congestive heart disease or diabetes.

Dehydrocholic Acid is normally not recommended for use in pregnant animals unless the benefits outweigh the risk. Dehydrocholic Acid may interact with other medications, specifically diuretics and antihypertensives.

Author: Giano Panzarella