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Drug-Induced Liver Disease

The liver is the organ that is responsible for a variety of bodily functions, including the elimination of toxins and waste filtration. The liver has many enzymes that aid in the metabolism of drugs. With the increasing use of various drugs, liver disease caused by drugs has become very common. Symptoms may or may not be similar to other liver diseases. When symptoms are similar, it is difficult to understand if the symptoms were caused by disease or drugs. Drug-induced liver disease can be classified as predictable and unpredictable.

Drug-induced liver disease predictably

Intrinsic reactions to drugs can cause liver damage. Predictable drug-induced liver disease is related to the dose of drugs that cause liver damage. Some medications, when taken in excessive amounts, have toxic effects on the liver. This type of liver disease can be easily treated in a careful review of the history of the drug to the patient. Toxic dose of acetaminophen leading to hepatocellular necrosis are cases of hepatic impairment induced by drugs most frequently recorded. Other drugs that cause various liver diseases are amiodarone, bromfenac, tetracycline, niacin, cyclosporine and certain oral contraceptives.

Unpredictable drug-induced liver disease.

Idiosyncratic reactions to drugs can cause liver damage. This type of reaction to a drug occurs mostly in people who can not tolerate a particular drug. The use of a particular drug can cause liver disease and in a fraction of individuals. It is not dose-related, ie, even small amounts of this medication can cause side effects and are usually due to a genetic disorder. Enzymes needed to metabolize some drugs can not be present in the liver cells to cause liver damage. Isoniazid and diclofenac can cause hepatocellular necrosis. Drugs such as chlorpromazine and estrogen can cause cholestasis. The use of certain oral contraceptives and anabolic steroids can cause liver tumors or liver.

The toxicity of the administered drug is determined and methods are then passed to detoxify patients suffering from liver disease induced by drugs.

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