Which psychotropic medications induce hepatotoxicity?

Karim Sedky, Racha Nazir, Aditya Joshi, Gagandeep Kaur, Steven Lippmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Objective: Safe prescribing practices to minimize pharmaceutically induced liver damage or worsening of preexisting conditions require knowledge about medicines with hepatotoxic potential. This paper reviews psychotropic medications and their effects on the liver. Methods: A MEDLINE search was performed utilizing the phrase "drug-induced liver injury" with various categories of psychiatric drugs. Only articles written in English were utilized. Results: Hepatotoxicity can be acute or chronic in nature. Medication discontinuation is necessary in acute forms, while close monitoring is required in milder forms of medication-induced chronic liver damage. Nefazodone, pemoline and/or tacrine are the highest offenders. Carbamazepine and valproate products (e.g., divalproex) can lead to this adverse event and should be avoided in patients with liver disease, persons with alcohol misuse or those consuming high doses of acetaminophen. Conclusion: Knowing the risk levels associated with various medicines is important; prescribing multiple drugs with hepatotoxic effects should be avoided. One should educate patients about early warning signs of liver injury. Always provide clinical and laboratory monitoring before and during the use of hepatotoxic drugs. Clinical features and laboratory results govern medication prescribing with ongoing risk-to-benefit ratio assessment during pharmacotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-61
Number of pages9
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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