Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UT Southwestern Researchers Say Overdoses Of Acetaminophen Cause Most Cases Of Acute Liver Failure

Date:
December 17, 2002
Source:
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas
Summary:
Unintentional acetaminophen overdose is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States, research from UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas shows.

DALLAS – Dec. 17, 2002 – Unintentional acetaminophen overdose is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States, research from UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas shows.

The scientists' findings appear in today's issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

"This study is the first to prospectively characterize a large number of patients with acute liver failure," said Dr. William M. Lee, professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern and the study's principal investigator. "Until recently, only limited data have been available on the causes and outcomes of acute liver failure because of its rarity and a lack of centralized data registry."

Earlier this year, a preliminary report based on the study prompted a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee to recommend stronger warning labels on over-the-counter pain medications and cold-and-cough remedies containing acetaminophen, an analgesic with potency similar to aspirin.

The study found that 39 percent of patients with acute liver failure, a rapidly progressive and frequently fatal disease that annually affects 2,000 people in the United States, were from acetaminophen overdose.

"We observed a much higher frequency of presumed acetaminophen overdose-related hepatotoxicity than previous reports," Lee said. "Unlike in the United Kingdom, more than half of our patients with acetaminophen overdose were believed to have overdosed unintentionally, rather than during a suicide attempt."

Lee said a striking finding of the study was that 73 percent of the patients were women.

"Whether women are innately more susceptible to acute liver failure or are taking more kinds of prescription and nonprescription drugs, and are therefore at a higher risk, remains to be determined," Lee said.

The three-year study looked at 308 patients with acute liver failure from 17 different liver care centers around the country. Lee and his colleagues found that 39 percent of cases were from acetaminophen overdose, and they also discovered that 13 percent were from idiosyncratic drug reactions; 12 percent were from viral hepatitis A and B; and 17 percent were of indeterminate cause.

"Acetaminophen is quite safe when taken accordingly to package recommendations," Lee said. "Eighty-three percent of our patients who developed acute liver failure had exceeded the daily maximum recommended dose of four grams."

While 68 percent of patients with acute liver failure related to acetaminophen overdose recovered with supportive care and 6 percent required transplantation, only 25 percent of patients with idiosyncratic drug reactions recovered and more than 50 percent required transplants once their nervous systems were damaged by liver function failure.

In 1997, Lee formed a consortium of liver centers, called the Acute Liver Failure Study Group, to increase research in this area. The scientific collaboration has made it possible for investigators to study the disease in greater depth.

Two former UT Southwestern researchers – Drs. George Ostapowicz and Frank Schiodt – also contributed to the study. Other collaborators are from Baylor University Medical Center; the Mayo Clinic; Gold Coast Hospital in Southport, Australia; Northwestern University; and the universities of Michigan, Washington, California-Los Angeles, California-San Francisco, Nebraska, and Pittsburgh.

This study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "UT Southwestern Researchers Say Overdoses Of Acetaminophen Cause Most Cases Of Acute Liver Failure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021217072713.htm>.
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. (2002, December 17). UT Southwestern Researchers Say Overdoses Of Acetaminophen Cause Most Cases Of Acute Liver Failure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021217072713.htm
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "UT Southwestern Researchers Say Overdoses Of Acetaminophen Cause Most Cases Of Acute Liver Failure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021217072713.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins