Therapy aims to relieve symptoms and prevent complications.
Cholestyramine (or colestipol) may reduce the itching. Ursodeoxycholic acid may improve removal of bile from the bloodstream and improves the survival of patients with PBC after they have taken it for 4 years.
Vitamin replacement therapy restores vitamins A, K, and D, which are lost in fatty stools. A calcium supplement should be added to prevent or treat soft, weakened bones (
The outcome can vary. If the condition is not treated, most patients will need a liver transplant to prevent death from this condition. About a quarter of patients who've had the disease for 10 years will experience liver failure. Doctors can now use a statistical model to predict the best time to do the transplant.
Progressive cirrhosis can lead to liver failure. Complications can include:
- Damage to the brain (
- Fluid and
- Kidney failure
- Soft bones (osteomalacia)
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if you have:
- Abdominal swelling
Blood in the stools
- Itching of the skin that does not go away and is not related to other causes