How is ICP treated?
Note: This page will be updated in light of the research by Chappell et al 2019, which shows that UDCA is not an effective treatment for ICP.
There is no consensus on the best way to treat ICP. Many hospitals have adopted a policy of ‘active management’ with ICP pregnancies in anticipation that this approach might reduce any risk to the unborn baby. The term ‘active management’ is used to describe various strategies that hospitals use to monitor your ICP pregnancy, and may include some or all of the following:
- Blood tests (bile acids and liver function)
- Fetal movement monitoring (cardiotocograph and growth scans)
- Treatment with ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA)
- Treatment with other drugs
- Planned delivery at around 37 weeks (see the section on management of ICP)
It should be noted that none of these interventions is proven to protect your baby against the risk of complications associated with ICP.
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