Chronic Use

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Question

Are there any adverse reaction of long term drug use?

Answer

Chronic (long term) use of any drug may potentially result in liver and/or kidney damage. This is due to the vital role these two organs play in the metabolism and elimination of chemical compounds. Although developing liver and/or kidney damage is usually rare, these risks still exist.

Potential liver damage

Your liver, the largest organ in your body, plays a vital role in regulating life processes. This complex organ performs many functions essential to life.

One of these functions is to process drugs absorbed from the digestive tract into forms that are easier for the body to use. These chemical changes which occur in the liver govern the drug's activity in the body. Over a prolonged period of time liver cells can become damaged from these chemical processes and become replaced by scar formation. As scar tissue progressively accumulates, blood flow through the liver is diminished, causing even more liver cells to die. Loss of liver function results in gastrointestinal disturbances, emaciation, enlargement of the liver and spleen, jaundice, and accumulation of fluid in the abdomen and other tissues of the body.

Kidney damage risk

Each kidney filters about 1700 liters of blood per day and concentrates fluid and waste products into about one liter of urine per day. Because of this, the kidneys receive more exposure to toxic substances in the body than almost any other organ; therefore, they are highly susceptible to injury from toxic substances. Inflammation from immune response to drugs may injure the structures of the kidney, usually causing various types of glomerulonephritis or acute tubular necrosis (tissue death). Injury to the kidney may result in short-term damage with minimal or no symptoms. It may also be life threatening from bleeding and associated shock, or it may result in acute renal failure or chronic renal failure.

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