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Pharmacotherapy. 2012 Sep;32(9):784-91. doi: 10.1002/j.1875-9114.2012.01122.x. Epub 2012 Jul 31.

Effect of therapeutic doses of acetaminophen (up to 4 g/day) on serum alanine aminotransferase levels in subjects consuming ethanol: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

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  • 1Denver Health and Hospital Authority Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center, Denver, Colorado 80204, USA.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

To quantify the effect of therapeutic doses of acetaminophen on serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels in subjects who consumed ethanol.

DESIGN:

Systematic review of six randomized placebo-controlled trials, of which five were included in a meta-analysis.

SUBJECTS:

Subjects included in the meta-analysis were those who consumed ethanol and received acetaminophen in doses up to 4 g/day (551 subjects) or placebo (350 subjects).

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:

A comprehensive literature search of the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts databases and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials was performed to identify randomized, placebo-controlled trials that enrolled subjects who consumed ethanol, received acetaminophen in therapeutic doses up to 4 g/day, and had serum ALT level measurements. A total of 184 articles were identified; six articles met all criteria. Five of the six articles reported ALT levels on study day 4 for both groups of subjects who received acetaminophen or placebo. Thus, for the meta-analysis, we used the primary outcome of mean change in serum ALT level from baseline to day 4 in the acetaminophen groups compared with the placebo groups. We found that the difference in mean change from baseline ALT levels between the acetaminophen and placebo groups on day 4 was 0.0 U/L (95% confidence interval -0.2-0.1 U/L). There were no reports of liver dysfunction, liver failure, or death in any of the trials.

CONCLUSION:

In randomized, placebo-controlled trials of subjects who consumed ethanol, no elevation of ALT level on study day 4 was noted when subjects ingested up to 4 g/day of acetaminophen.

© 2012 Pharmacotherapy Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
22851428
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3561770
Free PMC Article
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