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What is liver failure?

The liver executes numerous functions. It filters blood, converts food to usable energy and has a defensive function. When the liver cannot perform some or all of these functions, the condition is called liver failure.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

Liver failure is of two main types: acute and chronic.

  • Acute liver failure occurs with a sudden onset- in a few days or weeks. Symptoms include:
    • Yellowish tinge of skin and eyes (jaundice)
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Fatigue and confusion
    • Severe liver failure can cause brain damage, called cerebral encephalopathy causing loss of orientation of space and time
  • Chronic liver failure can take months or even years to show any symptoms. In addition to symptoms of acute liver failure, other signs seen are:
    • Fluid retention in the legs causing swelling
    • Fluid accumulation in the abdomen (ascites)
    • Weight loss
    • Spontaneous bleeding

A third type, called acute-on-chronic liver failure, has recently been recognised, where chronic liver failure is exaggerated due to sudden worsening of liver function.

What are its main causes?

  • Causes of acute liver failure are:
    • Side effects of some medications like antiepileptics
    • Viral infections like hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection
    • Consuming poisonous substances
    • Sometimes, cancer can also cause liver failure
    • Herbal preparations
  • Causes of chronic liver failure are:
    • Long-term alcoholism
    • Hepatic cirrhosis
    • Autoimmune diseases like autoimmune hepatitis
    • Genetic diseases
    • Malnourishment

How is it diagnosed and treated?

When you approach a doctor with the above symptoms, he/she will look for a history of medications taken, alcohol consumption and genetic illnesses.

  • A simple blood test along with a biopsy can help diagnose a liver disorder.
  • Abdominal ultrasound, CT scan and MRI are some other tests that help the physician assess the health of the liver.

Treatment includes treating the underlying cause and correcting symptoms to stabilize the patient.

  • If a medicine has caused hepatic failure, the medicine is substituted with other drugs to reverse its effects.
  • If only a part of the liver is affected, that part can be removed so the liver can regenerate.
  • If liver failure is due to an irreversible cause, a liver transplant is the only alternative.
  • Diet and lifestyle changes are also required to supplement treatment.
  1. Medicines for Liver Failure
  2. Doctors for Liver Failure
Dr. Suraj Bhagat

Dr. Suraj Bhagat

गैस्ट्रोएंटरोलॉजी

Dr. Smruti Ranjan Mishra

Dr. Smruti Ranjan Mishra

गैस्ट्रोएंटरोलॉजी

Dr. Sankar Narayanan

Dr. Sankar Narayanan

गैस्ट्रोएंटरोलॉजी

Medicines for Liver Failure

Medicines listed below are available for Liver Failure. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.

Medicine NamePack SizePrice (Rs.)
UrsocolURSOCOL 450MG TABLET SR 10S220
Udiliv TabletUdiliv 150 mg Tablet237
UdimarinUDIMARIN TABLET280
ActimarinActimarin 70 Mg/150 Mg Tablet160
Gemiuro PlusGemiuro Plus Tablet0
Udimarin ForteUdimarin Forte 140 Mg/300 Mg Tablet0
UdiplusUdiplus 140 Mg/300 Mg Tablet280
Ulyses PlusUlyses Plus 140 Mg/300 Mg Tablet296
UdibonUdibon 140 Mg/300 Mg Tablet344
Urdohep SlURDOHEP SL TABLET240
Ursetor PlusUrsetor Plus 300 Mg/140 Mg Tablet244
Ursodox PlusUrsodox Plus Tablet238
Ursokem PlusUrsokem Plus 140 Mg/300 Mg Tablet300
UdgraceUDGRACE 300MG TABLET 10S288
Ursolic PlusUrsolic Plus Tablet200
UsibonUSIBON 150MG TABLET118
UdcrosUDCROS 300MG TABLET 10S0
UdcyugUDCYUG 150MG TABLET 10S137
ActibileACTIBILE 450MG SR TABLET252
GolbiGolbi 150 Mg Tablet116
SorbidiolSorbidiol 150 Mg Tablet100

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References

  1. Science Direct (Elsevier) [Internet]; Acute liver failure
  2. American Family Physician. Cirrhosis and Chronic Liver Failure: Part I. Diagnosis and Evaluation. University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor,Michigan; September 1, 2006, Volume 74, Number 5
  3. Grek A, Arasi L. Acute Liver Failure.. AACN Adv Crit Care. 2016 Oct;27(4):420-429. PMID: 27959298
  4. Shah NJ, John S. Acute and Chronic Liver Failure. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-.
  5. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Liver Diseases

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