Drug-Induced Liver Failure
Drug-induced liver failure is growing more common each day as new drugs are introduced to the market without sufficient pre-approval clinical studies. Your dangerous drug attorney at Searcy Denney knows that nearly 30% of cases of acute liver failure are caused by medications. Liver failure or hepatotoxicity can be caused by prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, etc. Some drugs directly damage the liver, while others are improperly metabolized and cause harm. Liver problems are also often associated with combinations of medications and other substances. Drug-induced liver issues can occur shortly after a new medication has been started, or may occur after long-term use.
Symptoms of liver failure or liver damage include:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Yellowing of skin (jaundice) due to accumulation of bilirubin in the blood
- Easy bruisability due to decreased production of blood clotting factors by the liver
- Fluid accumulation in the legs (edema)
- Ascites (fluid accumulation in the abdomen) or gastrointestinal bleeding
- Confusion or altered mental state
- Kidney failure
There are a number of conditions that are part of the spectrum of drug-induced liver disease, including hepatitis, elevated liver enzymes, hepatic necrosis, steatosis, cholestasis, non-alcoholic cirrhosis, blood clots within the liver and fulminant hepatitis. It is estimated that 75% of patients who have suffered acute failure as a result of a drug reaction will require a liver transplant or die.
Your drug injury lawyers at Searcy Denney warn that there are nearly 1,000 drugs that have the potential to cause liver failure. For example, cholesterol-lowering statins are well-known to have hepatic effects, so patients taking them need to have their liver enzymes routinely monitored. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) has long been associated with liver failure, especially when taken in excessive quantities or when combined with alcohol. Many new drugs have been recalled from the market or remain under a cloud of suspicion due to liver toxicity, including Rezulin, Trovan, Hydroxycut, Multaq, Propofol, Cylert, Serzone, and Ketek. Hepatotoxicity is also associated with a number of drugs that remain on the market, including NSAIDs, glucocorticoids, isoniazide, allopurinol, amiodarone, and many others.
Contact a Dangerous Drug Attorney
If you believe you or a loved one has suffered failure or damage due to a prescription or over-the-counter medication, contact one of the Florida products liability lawyers at Searcy Denney today. Our team of defective drug lawyers can help you file a drug injury lawsuit.
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