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JAMA. 1994 Dec 21;272(23):1845-50.

Association of acetaminophen hepatotoxicity with fasting and ethanol use.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, PA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the association of fasting and alcohol use with hepatotoxicity from acetaminophen ingested for therapeutic reasons.

DESIGN:

Retrospective case series.

SETTING:

Hospitals of the University of Pittsburgh (Pa) Medical Center.

PATIENTS:

A total of 126,779 discharge summaries from January 1987 to July 1993 were reviewed using a comprehensive, whole-text-indexed medical database to identify all patients with acetaminophen ingestion and hepatotoxicity. These patients were categorized according to the intended acetaminophen use and dose of acetaminophen ingested.

MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURED:

The independent variables of chronic alcohol use, recent alcohol use, and recent fasting were determined for all patients.

RESULTS:

Forty-nine patients with acetaminophen hepatotoxicity (aspartate aminotransferase > 1000 U/L) were identified. Twenty-one patients (43%) ingested acetaminophen for therapeutic purposes. All patients with hepatotoxicity took more than the recommended limit of 4 g/d. Recent fasting was more common than recent alcohol use among those who suffered hepatotoxicity after a dose of 4 to 10 g of acetaminophen per day (P = .02). Recent alcohol use was more common in the group who took more than 10 g/d than in those who took 4 to 10 g/d (P = .004).

CONCLUSION:

Acetaminophen hepatotoxicity after a dose of 4 to 10 g/d was associated with fasting and less commonly with alcohol use. Patients who developed hepatoxicity after taking acetaminophen doses of greater than 10 g/d for therapeutic purposes were alcohol users. Acetaminophen hepatotoxicity after an overdose appears to be enhanced by fasting in addition to alcohol ingestion.

PMID:
7990219
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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