International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 1454–1457 | Cite as

Increased prescribing of ursodeoxycholic acid in Norway

  • Espen Skarstein KolbergEmail author
  • Morten Tranung
  • Kristin Matre Aasarød
Short Research Report


Background Ursodeoxycholic acid is a hydrophilic bile acid prescribed for a variety of cholestatic liver disorders, although with variable clinical evidence with regards to efficacy. Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the prescription pattern of ursodeoxycholic acid in Norway over the last 13 years. Method Information on the prescribing of ursodeoxycholic acid was extracted from the Norwegian Prescription Database. Data was obtained on the number of individuals who had at least one prescription of ursodeoxycholic acid for any indication dispensed per year in the period 2004–2017. Results The period 2004–2017 witnessed an overall rise in the prevalence of ursodeoxycholic acid prescribing of 237%. With regards to development in prescribing across different age cohorts there is an increase in prescribing in all age groups, although the trend seems to be levelling off in some cohorts. Conclusion Considering the variable clinical evidence of the efficacy of ursodeoxycholic acid, the increase in prescribing is interesting and should prompt vigilance and further research with regards to its long term effects on clinical outcomes.


Norway Pharmacoepidemiology Prescription database Ursodeoxycholic acid 




Conflicts of interest

Espen Skarstein Kolberg has received a lecture fee from Novartis Norway and an author fee from Boehringer Ingelheim Norway. Kristin Matre Aasarød has received a lecture fee from MSD Norway. Morten Tranung does not report any conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Espen Skarstein Kolberg
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Morten Tranung
    • 1
  • Kristin Matre Aasarød
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Clinical PharmacyTrondheim Hospital PharmacyTrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Department of Clinical and Molecular MedicineNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  3. 3.Department of GastroenterologySt. Olav’s HospitalTrondheimNorway

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