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How Your Medicine Cabinet Is Affecting Your Liver Health

There are more than the usual suspects, like over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers, that you should know the facts about when it comes to liver health.

You probably know that over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin are risky to take when your liver health is a concern. They can cause inflammation of the liver and increase liver enzymes. They’re available under popular names like Tylenol, Bayer, Excedrin, Nyquil, Motrin, and Advil, to name a few.

But what about the other medications lining your medicine cabinet shelves? Like the antibiotics you’ve taken for a recent illness or the statins that help with your cholesterol. Those regularly prescribed medications, along with others, can have a negative impact on your liver health, too.

Cholesterol Medication and Liver Health

Did you know that popular statins, used for help with regulating cholesterol levels, may cause liver damage? The use of statins can result in abnormal liver tests. It’s typically recommended that liver tests are started prior to beginning the use of statins.

Liver tests should be conducted regularly when using medications to control cholesterol levels.  An abnormally high liver test may result in a recommendation to discontinue the use of a statin. This is especially important when liver health is a concern. The use of statins, in general, is associated with side effects that can include liver damage.

Read more about research that compels us to reevaluate the use of statins for individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Antibiotics and Liver Health

Most people are currently taking antibiotics, will be taking them, or just finished taking them.  From common colds to fungal infections, antibiotics can be found in many a medicine cabinet.

Although antibiotics are used to improve your health, their use can have a negative impact on your liver. The strength of the antibiotic is also a factor to be aware of.  Stronger than necessary antibiotics may be prescribed, some of which warn against use for patients with liver issues.

The use of certain antibiotics can result in liver dysfunction, and those with liver issues may experience unfavorable reactions using them.

Heart Medications and Liver Health

A healthy heart is a key component for a healthy body. People with high blood pressure or irregular heartbeats are typically prescribed medications to improve their cardiovascular health.

Some heart medications can be detrimental to liver health though. Side effects, such as liver failure, have been reported when using certain heart medications.

Interactions between heart medications and other medications can also lead to liver issues. This is due to the liver’s inability to efficiently filter out certain medications, resulting in toxicity issues.

Other Medications to Note

Anti-depressants and anti-seizure medications are two other regularly prescribed medications that have also been found to negatively impact liver health. Injury to the liver is a possible side effect when taking medications to treat health issues such as bipolar disorder and epilepsy.

Know Your Medications

The medications listed above are regularly used to aid with overall health. You can be proactive about your liver health by asking questions when a new medication is prescribed for an ailment.

When visiting your doctor, express your concerns about the use of certain medications and their impact on your liver health. Ask what medication you’re being prescribed and if it’s needed. You should also find out what the side effects are of the prescribed medicines and ask about viable alternatives if you’re not comfortable with what you’ve been told.

If you like do further research on your own, you can even visit, a site that offers helpful information regarding various drugs, their uses, side effects and warnings. They even have a Pill Identifier tool in case you just don’t know what medication you have.

Your liver is a vital organ. Knowing how certain medications in your medicine cabinet can impact your liver is an important step towards overall health.

Editor’s Note: UltraThistle can help protect your liver from toxins and virtually all types of damage. Learn more about this prescription strength milk thistle., Anatomy and Function of the Liver, Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, Retrieved January 18, 2017, Medicine Net, 2017., Lipitor (atorvastatin), Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD, Retrieved January 18, 2017, Medicine Net, 2017., Popular Antibiotics May Carry Serious Side Effects, Jane E. Brody, Retrieved January 18, 2017, The New York Times, 2017., valproic acid, divalproex, Depakote, Depakote Sprinkle, Depakote ER, Depakene, Depacon, Stavzor, Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD, Retrieved January 18, 2017, Medicine Net, 2017., Liver Blood Tests, Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD, Retrieved January 18, 2017, Medicine Net, 2017., ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and others) Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD, Retrieved January 18, 2017, Medicine Net, 2017., Dealing Effectively With Depression, Ashraf Ali, M.D, Retrieved January 19, 2017, Medicine Net, 2017., amiodarone, Cordarone, Nextrone, Pacerone, Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD, Retrieved January 18, 2017, Medicine Net, 2017.

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About the Author

Stephen Holt, MD, PhD, FACP

Stephen Holt, M.D. is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine NYCPM (Emerite) and a medical practitioner in New York State. He has published many peer-review papers in medicine and he is a best-selling author with more than twenty books in national and international distribution. He has received many awards for teaching and research. Dr. Holt is a frequent lecturer at scientific meetings and healthcare facilities throughout the world. He is a best selling author and the founder of the Holt Institute of Medicine.

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