Drug induced liver diseases are diseases of the liver that are caused by:
- physician-prescribed medications,
- over-the-counter medications,
- illicit ("recreational") drugs, and
- environment toxins.
When drugs injure the liver and disrupt its normal function, symptoms, signs, and abnormal blood tests of liver disease develop.
Abnormalities of drug-induced liver diseases are similar to those of liver diseases cause by other agents such
as viruses and immunologic diseases. For example, drug-induced hepatitis is similar to
viral hepatitis; they both can cause elevations in blood levels of aspartate amino transferase
(AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT), enzymes that leak from the injured liver into the
bloodstream, as well as loss of appetite, fatigue, and nausea. Drug-induced cholestasis (interference with the
flow of bile that is caused by injury to the bile ducts) can lead to increased blood levels of bilirubin (causing
jaundice, alkaline phosphatase(an enzyme that is leaked from injured bile ducts),