Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

What is the Treatment for Primary Biliary Cirrhosis?

Because primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is not curable, the main focus of treatment is to relieve symptoms, slow progression of the disease and prevent complications. 

Methods to relieve symptoms of primary biliary cirrhosis:

For intense itching experienced by those with PBC the following methods are used:

With the goal of slowing progression of PBC and prolonging survival, the following treatments are used:

Because people who have PBC are at risk of developing complications, certain tests, precautionary measures, and lifestyle changes may be necessary. For example, a bone mineral density scan to detect osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) may be performed. In the case where osteoporosis has been detected, treatment with bisphosphonates may be necessary. Bisphosphonates are a group of drugs that can inhibit bone breakdown and even increase bone mass. Taking calcium supplements and vitamin D supplements, as well as eliminating smoking and getting weight bearing exercise may be beneficial.

Vitamin deficiencies are another complication of primary biliary cirrhosis, so injections of vitamin K and water-based oral supplements of vitamins A, D and E may be recommended. 

American Liver Foundation, Primary Biliary Cirrhosis” http://www.liverfoundation.org/abouttheliver/info/pbc/  Retrieved September 7, 2011

Mayo Clinic, “Primary Biliary Cirrhosis” http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/primary-biliary-cirrhosis/DS00604  Retrieved September 7, 2011

MedicineNet.com, “Primary Biliary Cirrhosis” http://www.medicinenet.com/primary_biliary_cirrhosis/article.htm  Retrieved September 7, 2011

Medscape Reference, “Primary Biliary Cirrhosis” http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/171117-overview   Retrieved September 7, 2011<//p>

PubMed Health, “Primary Biliary Cirrhosis” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001327/ Retrieved September 7, 2011

World Journal of Gastroenterology, “Clinical Features and Management of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2716586/?tool=pmcentrez Retrieved September 7, 2011

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