What Is the Standard Course of Treatment for Primary Biliary Cirrhosis?

Treatments for primary biliary cirrhosis include medications that slow the progress of primary biliary cirrhosis, liver transplants used to treat liver failure and prolong life spans, the treatment of symptoms and the prevention of complications, explains Mayo Clinic. There is no cure for primary biliary cirrhosis as of 2015.

Ursodeoxycholic acid treats primary biliary cirrhosis by helping bile move through the liver, notes Mayo Clinic. It is most effective in treating early-stage primary biliary cirrhosis, and side effects include hair loss, weight gain and diarrhea. Doctors sometimes prescribe immunosuppressants and antiviral medications to treat primary biliary cirrhosis, but their effectiveness varies. Although liver transplants treat cases of primary biliary cirrhosis that are unresponsive to other treatments, surgery can sometimes only remove part of the liver. Modafinil treats fatigue caused by primary biliary cirrhosis, and antihistamines, opioid antagonists, cholestyramine and rifampin treat itching related to primary biliary cirrhosis.

Increased pressure in the portal vein, osteoporosis and vitamin deficiencies are complications of primary biliary cirrhosis, according to Mayo Clinic. Doctors administer medications, surgery, beta blockers and nitrates if screenings discover enlarged veins and portal hypertension. Vitamin D supplements, calcium supplements and exercise treat weakened bones, and vitamins A, D, E and K supplement the deficiencies caused by primary biliary cirrhosis.