Last update Jan. 11, 2023



Safe substance and/or breastfeeding is the best option.

It is a natural bile acid present in human bile. It suppresses the hepatic synthesis and secretion of cholesterol and inhibits the intestinal absorption of cholesterol. It is an epimer of chenodeoxycholic acid. It is used for the treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis, the dissolution of gallstones, and the treatment of hepatobiliary disorders associated with cystic fibrosis in pediatric patients. Oral administration one to three times a day.

It is excreted in breast milk in a clinically insignificant or undetectable amount (Šimják 2022, Vítek 2010, Brites 1998, Rudi 1996), with no side-effects being observed among infants of treated mothers. (Šimják 2022, Erol 2018, Efe 2014, Vítek 2010, Goh 2001, Brites 1998, Rudi 1996)

Iy is a bile salt that appears in low amount in the serum because it is absorbed to the portal circulation and completely excreted into biliary duct.

Bile salts are found in breast milk in small amounts (Forsyth 1983). Altered bile acid ratios in breast milk have been linked to prolonged jaundice from breastfeeding. (Forsyth 1990)

It is a medication that has been used for treatment of newborns and infants.

Expert authors consider the use of this medication possible during breastfeeding. (de Vries 2019, Mahadevan 2006)


We do not have alternatives for C24H40O4 since it is relatively safe.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

C24H40O4 is Ursodeoxycholic Acid (UDCA) in Molecular formula.

Is written in other languages:

C24H40O4 is also known as


C24H40O4 belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing C24H40O4 in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 90 %
Molecular weight 393 daltons
Protein Binding 96 - 99 %
VD 10.7 l/Kg
pKa 4.6 -
Tmax 0.5 - 0.8 hours
17 hours
Theoretical Dose < 0.03 mg/Kg/d
Relative Dose < 0.3 %


  1. Šimják P, Petr T, Kaslová B, Fejfar T, Hůlek P, Pařízek A, Vítek L. Ursodeoxycholic acid use in lactating female patients is associated with clinically negligible concentrations of this bile acid in breast milk. Sci Rep. 2022 Nov 15;12(1):19543. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  2. de Vries E, Beuers U. Ursodeoxycholic acid in pregnancy? J Hepatol. 2019 Dec;71(6):1237-1245. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  3. Erol-Coskun H, Karagur N, Akyol F, Karadas B, Kaya-Temiz T, Kaplan YC. Ursodiol use during breastfeeding: A case report. Reprod Toxicol 2018;80:59.
  4. Efe C, Kahramanoğlu-Aksoy E, Yılmaz B, Ozseker B, Takcı S, Roach EC, Purnak T, Kav T, Ozaslan E, Wahlin S. Pregnancy in women with primary biliary cirrhosis. Autoimmun Rev. 2014 Abstract
  5. Hjortø S, Skov L, Lykke JA. [Obstetric dermatoses.] Ugeskr Laeger. 2014 Abstract
  6. Vítek L, Zelenková M, Brůha R. Safe use of ursodeoxycholic acid in a breast-feeding patient with primary biliary cirrhosis. Dig Liver Dis. 2010 Abstract
  7. Mahadevan U, Kane S. American gastroenterological association institute technical review on the use of gastrointestinal medications in pregnancy. Gastroenterology. 2006 Jul;131(1):283-311. Review. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. Goh SK, Gull SE, Alexander GJ. Pregnancy in primary biliary cirrhosis complicated by portal hypertension: report of a case and review of the literature. BJOG. 2001 Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  9. Brites D, Rodrigues CM. Elevated levels of bile acids in colostrum of patients with cholestasis of pregnancy are decreased following ursodeoxycholic acid therapy [see comemnts]. J Hepatol. 1998 Abstract
  10. Rudi J, Schönig T, Stremmel W. -Therapy with ursodeoxycholic acid in primary biliary cirrhosis in pregnancy-. Z Gastroenterol. 1996 Abstract
  11. Crosignani A, Setchell KD, Invernizzi P, Larghi A, Rodrigues CM, Podda M. Clinical pharmacokinetics of therapeutic bile acids. Clin Pharmacokinet. 1996 May;30(5):333-58. Review. Abstract
  12. Forsyth JS, Donnet L, Ross PE. A study of the relationship between bile salts, bile salt-stimulated lipase, and free fatty acids in breast milk: normal infants and those with breast milk jaundice. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1990 Aug;11(2):205-10. Abstract
  13. Forsyth JS, Ross PE, Bouchier IA. Bile salts in breast milk. Eur J Pediatr. 1983 Apr;140(2):126-7. Abstract

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