Drug- and herb-induced liver injury: a case series from a single center

Muhammed Said Dağ, Musa Aydınlı, Zeynel Abidin Oztürk, Ibrahim Halil Türkbeyler, Irfan Koruk, Muhammed Cemil Savaş, Mehmet Koruk, Abdurrahman Kadayıfçı
Turkish Journal of Gastroenterology: the Official Journal of Turkish Society of Gastroenterology 2014, 25 (1): 41-5

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is common worldwide and has a potentially fatal outcome. It accounts for more than half of the cases of acute liver failure in the United States. Herb-induced liver injury (HILI) is a less documented condition but a growing problem. We present here the clinical characteristics and outcome of patients with drug- and herb-induced liver injury from our center.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this 4-year retrospective study, 82 patients in whom there was a causal or highly probable relationship between herbal medicine or drug use and liver disease are presented.

RESULTS: The mean age of patients was 43.1±14.8 years; sexual distribution was 53 females and 29 males. The major cause of hepatotoxicity was drugs (87.8%), with herbal medicine accounting for 12.2%. The leading causative agents were nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (23.1%), followed by antibiotics (19.5%). The pattern of hepatotoxicity was hepatocellular in 35 patients (42.6%), mixed in 28 (34.1%), and cholestatic in 19 patients (23.1%). Teucrium polium (known popularly as felty germander), which is a traditionally used herbal medicine of the Labiatae family in our region, was the most common cause of herb-induced liver injury and responsible in 7 of 10 herbal hepatotoxic cases. Acute liver failure developed in 3 patients (two patients related with flurbiprofen and diclofenac and one patient due to an isoniazid-rifampicin combination).

CONCLUSION: Antibiotics and NSAIDs were the most common etiologic agents for drug-induced liver injury. Surprisingly, herbs follow these groups of drugs and must be questioned more carefully.

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