Drug-induced hepatitis : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Alternate Names : Toxic hepatitis

Definition

Drug-induced hepatitis is inflammation of the liver that may occur when you take certain medications.

See also:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hepatitis D

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

The liver helps the body break down certain drugs. However, the process is slower in some people, which can make them more likely to get liver damage. Even small doses of certain drugs can cause hepatitis, even if the liver breakdown system is normal. Large doses can overwhelm a normal liver.

Many different drugs can cause drug-induced hepatitis.

Painkillers and fever reducers that contain acetaminophen are a common cause of liver inflammation. These medications can damage the liver when taken in doses that are not much greater than the recommended dose.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, may also cause drug-induced hepatitis.

Other drugs that can lead to liver inflammation include:

  • Amiodarone
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Birth control pills
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Erythromycin
  • Halothane
  • Methyldopa
  • Isoniazid (used to treat tuberculosis)
  • Methotrexate
  • Statins

Pictures & Images

Digestive system

The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

Hepatomegaly

Hepatomegaly

Hepatomegaly is enlargement of the liver beyond its normal size. Certain conditions such as infection, parasites, tumors, anemias, toxic states, storage diseases, heart failure, congenital heart disease, and metabolic disturbances may all cause an enlarged liver.


Review Date : 2/21/2009
Reviewed By : George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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