Liver Failure Study

According to the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), a recent study names antibiotics as the single largest class of agents that cause idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury (DILI). The findings were reported in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the AGA. DILI is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States, accounting for approximately 13 percent of cases.

The study, directed by Naga P. Chalasani, M.D., at the Indiana University School of Medicine, finds that DILI can be caused by both prescription and nonprescription medications, or even nutritional supplements and herbals, but is most often the result of prescription antibiotics.

Patients with suspected DILI were enrolled in the study beginning in 2003 and followed for at least six months. This is the largest study of its kind. The recent report, published in December 2008, documents the causes, clinical features and outcomes of the first 300 patients enrolled.

Findings show that DILI was caused by a single prescription medication in 73 percent of the cases examined. Antimicrobial (45.5 percent) and central nervous system agents (15 percent) were the most common agents associated with DILI.

This study is an initial analysis of an ongoing prospective study of DILI, which is the most frequent adverse drug-related event that leads to the abandonment of new drug candidates during pre-clinical or clinical development, failure to achieve drug approval, and withdrawal or restriction of prescription drug use after approval.

Source: ScienceDaily