Drugs associated with liver damage compiled in new NIH database


[See also: Generic medications effective, save industry $1 trillion over last decade]

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched a database of pharmaceutical drugs associated with liver damage.

The database, called LiverTox, is free for healthcare researchers and providers and has information on more than 700 pharmaceuticals, with another 300 set to be added in the coming years.

"Because drug-induced liver disease is not a single, common disease, it is very difficult to diagnose, with each drug causing a somewhat different pattern of liver damage," Jay Hoofnagle, MD, the lead creator of LiverTox and director of the Liver Disease Research Branch at NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, said in a press release.

LiverTox features an overview of drug-induced liver injury and the role of liver biopsy, liver damage clinical paterns and definitions, and a report on each drug, including case studies, chemical makeup and structure, and manufacturer information. Users can also report cases of drug-induced liver damage to the LiverTox website, which automatically is fowarded to the Food and Drug Administration's MedWatch program. 

Steven Phillips, MD, co-sponsor of LiverTox and director of the National Library of Medicine's Division of Specialized Information Services, said: "LiverTox demonstrates the importance of using informatics to provide easy access to evidenced-based information to clinicians and researchers that will improve the health and well-being of all and help prevent unnecessary morbidity and mortality, worldwide."

Each section of the database has been reviewed by outside experts, in addition to FDA and pharmaceutical industry scientists, NIH said.

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