Many medications – doctor prescribed prescriptions as well as herbal, over-the-counter medications and street drugs – are poisonous or toxic to the liver. You may be surprised to learn, for example, that aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), black cohosh, Augmentin, isoniazid, nitrofurantoin, testosterone, vitamin A and Comfrey put your liver at risk for medication induced liver damage.
Because the liver is such an important organ, it’s important to know this information and to protect your liver from unnecessary harm.
Also important to know: medications generally considered safe taken alone, may bring about liver damage when prescribed together.
Persons with increased risk for medication-induced liver toxicity include those with present or past history viral hepatitis, obesity, uncontrolled drinking, diabetes and a history of liver disease from any cause. So, a word of advice here, if you suffer from any of the disorders mentioned, make certain you remind your doctor before taking any medications she prescribes.
To name just a few, here is a short list of popular prescription medications, herbals as well as over-the-counter and street drugs that can harm your liver:
ASPIRIN, ACETAMINOPHEN (Tylenol), ALLOPURINOL (medication for gout), AMIODARONE (heart medication), AMOXICILLIN-CLAVULANATE aka Augmentin (antibiotic), AMPHETAMINES, BLACK COHOSH (herb), CARBAMAZEPINE (seizure medicine), CASCARA (herb), CHAPARRAL (herb), COMFREY (herb), EPHEDRA (herb), FENOFIBRATE (lowers triglycerides), HARVONI (treats Hepatitis C), ISONIAZID (treats TB), KAVA (herb), LAMOTRIGINE (seizure medicine), LEVOFLOXACIN (antibiotic), MA HUANG (herb), MINOCYCLINE aka Minocin (antibiotic), NITROFURANTOIN aka Macrodantin (urinary tract infection antibiotic), PHENCYCLIDINE (hallucinogen), PHENYTOIN aka Dilantin (seizure medication), TESTOSTERONE, and VITAMIN A
To learn more, the National Institutes of Health has created massive data base that can be searched for almost every drug declaring its liver toxicity. Here it is:
Liver Tox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury, 2019. National Institutes Health. Online [available at]: https://livertox.nlm.nih.gov/index.htm
Liver Tox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury, 2019. National Institutes Health. Online [available at]: https://livertox.nlm.nih.gov/index.html Accessed April 20, 2019.