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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 30

of 'Pain syndromes in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease'

Association of acetaminophen hepatotoxicity with fasting and ethanol use.
Whitcomb DC, Block GD
JAMA. 1994;272(23):1845.
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.
Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, PA.