The efficacy and safety of ursodeoxycholic acid in the treatment of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy was investigated in an open pilot study. Five patients received 1 gm/day of ursodeoxycholic acid during 20 days and another three patients received two identical periods of treatment separated by a 14-day interval free of the drug. Pruritus and serum levels of total bile salts and glutamic-pyruvic transaminase improved significantly during treatment with ursodeoxycholic acid. In the three patients who received two periods of treatment with ursodeoxycholic acid, pruritus and the laboratory alterations relapsed in the second week after the drug was discontinued, but they improved again when ursodeoxycholic acid was readministered. No adverse reactions were detected in the mothers or in their babies. All newborns were thriving normally during a follow-up period that lasted 5 mo after delivery. It is concluded that UDCA appears to be safe when administered in late pregnancy; its promising efficacy in the treatment of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy should now be confirmed in controlled clinical trials. (HEPATOLOGY 1992;15:1043–1047).