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.

Related Articles


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 November 27, 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 November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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