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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval for Ocaliva (obeticholic acid) for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) in combination with ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) in adults with an inadequate response to UDCA, or as a single therapy in adults unable to tolerate UDCA.
PBC is a chronic, or long lasting, disease that causes the small bile ducts in the liver to become inflamed, damaged and ultimately destroyed. This causes bile to remain in the liver, which damages the liver cells over time, and results in cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver. As cirrhosis progresses, and the amount of scar tissue in the liver increases, the liver loses its ability to function.
The most common side effects of Ocaliva are severe itching of the skin (pruritus), fatigue, abdominal pain and discomfort, joint pain (arthralgia), pain in the middle part of the throat (oropharyngeal), dizziness and constipation. Ocaliva should not be used in patients with complete biliary obstruction.
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