Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Anti-Gallstone Meds My Doc Prescribed...But Never Took

Some of our lovely ladies are experiencing the very horrible sounding effects of gallstones. Everytime I hear about this, I am reminded of the pretty little pills my doctor prescribed for me after my surgery....


That I never took...


Well, I took them once.


They are called Actigall.


I was supposed to open the capsule and sprinkle on my food once a day. I believe I was directed to take this for the first 3, possibly 6 months after surgery. Here is a description that pertains to how it works for weight loss surgery:

Gallstone Prevention


Two placebo-controlled, multicenter, double-blind, randomized, parallel group trials in a total of 1,316 obese patients were undertaken to evaluate Actigall in the prevention of gallstone formation in obese patients undergoing rapid weight loss. The first trial consisted of 1,004 obese patients with a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 38 who underwent weight loss induced by means of a very low calorie diet for a period of 16 weeks. An intent-to-treat analysis of this trial showed that gallstone formation occurred in 23% of the placebo group, while those patients on 300, 600, or 1200 mg/day of Actigall experienced a 6%, 3%, and 2% incidence of gallstone formation, respectively. The mean weight loss for this 16-week trial was 47 lb for the placebo group, and 47, 48, and 50 lb for the 300, 600, and 1200 mg/day Actigall groups, respectively.


The second trial consisted of 312 obese patients (BMI ≥ 40) who underwent rapid weight loss through gastric bypass surgery. The trial drug treatment period was for 6 months following this surgery. Results of this trial showed that gallstone formation occurred in 23% of the placebo group, while those patients on 300, 600, or 1200 mg/day of Actigall experienced a 9%, 1%, and 5% incidence of gallstone formation, respectively. The mean weight loss for this 6-month trial was 64 lb for the placebo group, and 67, 74, and 72 lb for the 300, 600, and 1200 mg/day Actigall groups, respectively.

So there you have it! So far so good on the gallstonies for me...but perhaps some of the newbies may want to inquire about these from their docs!

18 comments:

  1. Interesting stuff... well I hope you avoid the issue in any case.

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  2. They removed my gall bladder before they would even think about the lapband, i wonder if that whole surgery could have been avoided by those lil pills. Worth checking into eh?

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  3. Good to know! I definitely want to inquire! Thank you!!!

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  4. Wait wait wait...so you're telling me that losing weight is going to give me GALLSTONES???

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  5. Gilly-

    yes. It is one of the potential side effects of rapid weight loss :(

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  6. I wish I would have known about these sooner!
    Gilly yes! It's crazy but true.
    Two weeks after my surgery I had a scare with 'sludge' in my gall bladder. My primary wanted to remove it, but my lap band surgeon said to just wait it out, that it was most likely caused by the 2 week clear liquid diet I had been on. He was right - I've not had symptoms again, but I dread it!!
    My good friend had to have hers out 1 month after her lap band surgery.
    I hope Band Groupie is feeling better soon and can get this behind her.
    Amy let's hope we are the lucky ones!! lol

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  7. Vaguely remember this drug mentioned in the nutrition meeting but I never got a script for it. Thanks for reminding me to inquire.

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  8. I had my gall bladder out a few years ago, and let me tell you, if you can avoid having that done, I would! It was 10x worse, maybe 20x worse, than my lapband surgery. I was in serious pain afterwards for quite a while. So, that's my scary story to scare everyone into avoiding it if at all possible!

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  9. I will add this to the growing list of questions for my doctor. One surgery a year is plenty. Is it too late for you to take the pills now?

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  10. Wow. Is it Doctor Oprah now? This is good info...

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  11. Great info Amy...how come you never took them?

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  12. Ok after reading your comments i see that it would not have helped me cause i already had the stones. And Amy thanks for telling me that the gallbladder surgery was way worse than lapband, now i KNOW i can handle the lapband :)

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  13. So far, from the support group meetings that I've been to, it seems that gall bladder problems usually are with GBs who don't opt to have their gall bladder removed. Those who have the Lap and have problems usually are drinking caffeine or alcohol and the body can't process that and it turns to sludge in their gall bladders.

    I know, I know... it's the Adam Ant song, "Don't drink, don't smoke... what do you do?"

    I hope that I'll be in the clear too, but I was never given the pills and the matter has yet to be brought up by the doctor's office, so I think it might also be connected to those who have certain preexisting medical conditions as well.

    Fun fun!

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  15. Very interesting! Thanks for posting!

    My mom is a Doctor of Chinese Medicine. She introduced me to a gallbladder cleanse. I've done it for about 10 years now.

    I'm the only one that does them and I'm the only one who still has their gallbladder. Yep. They've all had to have theirs removed.

    Also, sorry about the above post! Oops.

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  16. Thanks for posting this, Amy. I have never had gall bladder issues in the past and I don't want them now! I think I am going to take those pills. Since we have the same doctor, I'm sure i will get them too. These blogs are a wealth of information! See you next week!

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  17. OMG LOL I had those and never took them as well....

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