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Saudi J Gastroenterol. 2016 Mar-Apr;22(2):91-105. doi: 10.4103/1319-3767.178527.

Treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: Where do we stand? an overview.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Asad Dajani Specialized Center, Sharjah, UAE.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is currently the most common liver disease worldwide, the prevalence of which had progressively increased over the past 10 years where other liver diseases remained at the same prevalence rates or are expected to decrease as in the case of hepatitis C virus (HCV). The treatment of NAFLD is of prime concern to health care professionals and patients due to the significant mortality and morbidity it implies; the problem is further escalated by the fact that standard of care medications targeting NAFLD remain experimental and without evidence base. Treatment nowadays is focused on lifestyle modification and managing the comorbid associated diseases, with a possible role for some hepatic protective agents. This review presents all the medications that had been proposed and used for the treatment of NAFLD with or without scientific rationale and includes agents for weight loss, insulin sensitizers, drugs that reduce blood lipids, glucagon-mimetics, drugs that may reduce fibrosis, angiotensin receptor blockers, and medicines believed to reduce endoplasmic reticular stress such as vitamin E, ursodeoxycholic acid, and S-adenosyl methionine. A quick review of the newer agents that proved to be promising such as obeticholic acid and GFT505 and the medicines that are still in the pipeline is also presented.

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