Research into effective alternative therapies for treating cholestasis of pregnancy is lacking, so doctors and other health care providers generally don't recommend alternative therapies.
One alternative therapy being studied as a treatment for cholestasis of pregnancy is S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), a naturally occurring substance. In two small studies, women in their third trimesters who had cholestasis of pregnancy were given SAMe intravenously — through a vein — and experienced relief from intense itching with no adverse effects to them or their babies. These results suggest that SAMe therapy might be safe for short-term use during the third trimester of pregnancy, but more research is needed before doctors can recommend this therapy.
Other alternative therapies, including guar gum, activated charcoal, milk thistle and dandelion root, are also being studied, but there's no evidence that these therapies work or are safe for pregnant women to take.
Always check with your doctor or health care provider before trying an alternative therapy, especially if you're pregnant.
Oct. 12, 2011
- Bacq Y, et al. Cholestasis of pregnancy. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Aug. 31, 2011.
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- Skin conditions during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp169.cfm. Accessed Sept. 6, 2011.
- Cappell MS. Hepatic and gastrointestinal diseases. In: Gabbe SG, et al. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookPage&isbn=978-0-443-06930-7&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06930-7..50045-1. Accessed Sept. 6, 2011.
- Burrows R, et al. Interventions for treating cholestasis in pregnancy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2009:CD000493. http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews. Accessed Sept. 6, 2011.
- SAMe. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Sept. 6, 2011.
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- Harms RW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 21, 2011.
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