Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Center for Liver Disease & Transplantation

Medications and the Liver

One of the liver's key functions is removing toxic substances from the blood, a vital step in processing medications. For patients with liver disease, taking certain medications can cause further damage as the already-weakened liver works to break down the toxins.

The following drugs have been classified as hepatotoxic, or potentially damaging to the liver. If you you've been diagnosed with or have other risk factors for liver disease (such as obesity or diabetes), discuss these medications with your doctor before taking them.

For more information about the effect of hepatoxins on the liver, see Drug-Induced Hepatitis.

Generic name

Brand name(s)

acetaminophen (particularly dangerous if taken with alcohol or anti-seizure medications)

Tylenol®

alpha-methyldopa

Aldomet®

amiodarone

Cordarone, Pacerone

azathioprine (also called 6-MP)

Imuran®

carbamazapine

Tegretol®

chlorzoxazone

Parafon Forte®

dantrolene

Dantrium®

diclofenac

Voltaren®

fluconazole (or ketoconazole)

Diflucan®

flutamide

Eulexin

hydralazine

 

ibuprofen

Advil®

isoniazid (INH)

Nydrazid®

long-acting nicotinic acid

Niacor®

luekotriene synthase inhibitors, asthma medications including:
montelukast
zafirlukast
zileuton

 

Singulair®
Accolate®
Zyflo®

methotrexate

Rheumatrex®, Trexall®

nitrofurantoin

Macrodantin®

perihexilene maleate

 

phenylbutazone

Butazolidine®

phenytoin

Dilantin®, Phenytek®

pravastatin, fluvastatin, simvastatin, lovastatin

Pravachol®, Lescol®, Zocor®, Altoprev®, Mevacor®, Altocor®

quinidine

Cardioquin®

rifampin

Rifadin®

sulfa medications

Septra®, Bactrim®

tacrine

Cognex®

tolcapone (for Parkinson's Disease)

Tasmar®

telithromycin

Ketek®

ticlopidine

Ticlid®

troglitazone

Rezulin®

vitamin A (in doses greater than 5,000 units per dose; beta carotene is safe at all doses)

n/a

To find out more about the Methodist Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation, call us at 713-441-8839 or 866-94-LIVER (866-945-4837) or send us an email.