Hepatotoxicity of drugs used for treatment of obesity and its comorbidities

Peter Ghali, Keith D. Lindor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Obesity is an increasingly prevalent problem with many associated health risks. Obese patients may present with liver diseases directly attributable to their obesity, such as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). However, many such individuals are prescribed various potentially hepatotoxic medications for obesity itself, as well as for the complications of obesity. Clinically, it maybe difficult to distinguish the two. Furthermore, many of these medications are in common use, and some are not commonly recognized as potentially injurious to the liver. While some medications have predictable hepatotoxicity, many more have associated idiosyncratic reactions. We review the literature and case-reports of hepatotoxicity associated with four categories of medications: those used primarily in the treatment of obesity, those used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, those used in the treatment of hyperlipidemia, and those used in the treatment of hypertension. For each class, we present the described epidemiology, clinical presentation, pathology, and prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-397
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Liver Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes
  • Drug-induced hepatotoxicity
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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