What's the treatment for cholestasis?The goal of treatment is to eliminate or control the patient's symptoms. Discontinuing the use of certain drugs can restore
normal liver function, but surgery may be needed to drain or remove obstructions or to widen affected ducts.
Cholestasis often does not respond to medical therapy of any sort. Some reports indicate success in children with chronic cholestatic diseases with the use of ursodeoxycholic acid (20-30 mg/kg/d), which acts to increase bile formation and antagonizes the effect of hydrophobic bile acids on biological membranes. Phenobarbital (5 mg/kg/d) may also be useful in some children with chronic cholestasis. Opiate antagonists can block cholestasis-associated itching.
Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane), an antibacterial drug; phenobarbital, a barbiturate anticonvulsant; and other drugs are sometimes prescribed to cleanse the system and eliminate bile salts and other toxic compounds.
Patients who have chronic cholestasis and have trouble digesting fat may have to restrict the amount of fat in their diet and take calcium and water-soluble vitamin supplements. A liver transplant may become necessary if complications occur.