Drugs and toxins

The liver metabolizes drugs and toxins and is, therefore, particularly sensitive to these.

The most common liver-damaging toxin is alcohol, which causes metabolic damage to hepatocytes, partly by interfering with energy metabolism, resulting in fatty liver, and also by inducing inflammation, when it can cause alcoholic hepatitis. Sustained excess drinking can cause cirrhosis.

Some drugs and toxins (e.g. isoniazid, used to treat tuberculosis) may cause an illness resembling viral hepatitis and, in other cases, the bile ducts are targeted with little hepatocyte damage (e.g. chlorpromazine, used to treat psychosis).

Paracetamol (acetaminophen), the widely used over-the-counter analgesic, can cause massive hepatic necrosis when taken in overdose. Metabolism of paracetamol by microsomal oxidases generates a toxic, reactive metabolite, N-acetyl-^-benzoquinone-imine (NAPQI) that inactivates hepatocyte proteins. NAPQI is normally inactivated using glutathione, and hepatic stores are depleted in paracetamol overdose. ^-acetylcysteine replenishes hepatic glutathione and therefore counteracts paracetamol toxicity (see Chapter 25).

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Get Rid of Gallstones Naturally

Get Rid of Gallstones Naturally

One of the main home remedies that you need to follow to prevent gallstones is a healthy lifestyle. You need to maintain a healthy body weight to prevent gallstones. The following are the best home remedies that will help you to treat and prevent gallstones.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment