Often the use of drugs is unavoidable, but one of the problems with them is that they may cause harmful side effects such as fatty liver. Any medication that causes a person to gain weight is potentially contributing to fatty liver. Thus, the listing of many drugs associated with fatty liver disease includes the following:
How These Drugs Harm the Liver
When drugs harm the liver and cause fatty liver, they cause the elevation of liver enzymes. Three of the most important liver enzymes are found on liver function tests, and are called SGOT or AST for short, ALT or SGPT, and alkaline phosphatase.
There are three types of liver injuries:
1. Hepatocellular injury – If this type of injury shows jaundice as one of the symptoms, the person may be a candidate for a liver transplant. Two drugs that can cause this injury are acetaminophen and isoniazid as well as the gout medicine allopurinol; NSAIDS Omeprazole, Paroxetine, Rifampin, Sertraline; Lisinopril, Losartan and Methotrexate, Baclofen, Statins, Tetracyclines, Trazodone, and Risperidone. The injury is reflected in elevated ALT enzymes.
2. Cholestatic – This type of injury is not as bad as hepatocellular injury, but it may destroy the bile ducts and cause itching skin as well as jaundice. Cholestatic injuries show high alkaline phosphatase and total bilirubin. Drugs that cause it include oral contraceptives, amoxicillin, estrogens, Mirtazapine, Terbinafine, Phenothiazines, Erythromycins, and Anabolic steroids.
3. Mixed – This injury is reflected by similar lab test findings as the hepatocellular injury and the cholestatis injury. It’s caused by the drug phenytoin. Drugs responsible include Amitriptyline, Captopril, Sulfonamides, Trazodone, Verapamil, Phenobarbital, Clindamycin, Carbamazepine, and Trimethoprim. Treatment for these liver injuries starts with removal of the prescription medication causing them.
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