Medicines to Treat Jaundice
The term "jaundice" refers to a yellowish color of the skin, mucous membranes and ocular sclerae, a consequence of the accumulation of bilirubin in the blood; not surprisingly, jaundice is also known as hyperbilirubinemia.
Jaundice is visible when the level of bilirubin in the blood is between 1.5 and 2.5 mg / dl (sub-jaundice); when these values exceed 2.5 mg / ml, jaundice is clearly evident.
Classification and Causes
- Obstructive jaundice: urine is darker, stools are lighter. Cause: certain medications, liver cirrhosis, hepatitis
- Hepatocellular jaundice: indirect increase of bilirubin in the blood. Causes: certain medications, Gilbert's syndrome, Crigler-Najjar syndrome.
- Hemolytic jaundice: urine and faeces retain their color. Causes: haemolytic / pernicious anemia, hyperactivity of the spleen, leukemia, autoimmune diseases, thalassemia.
- Neonatal jaundice: yellowish skin on the face and other parts of the body. Causes: increased synthesis of indirect bilirubin, inactivity of liver enzymes (involved in the metabolism of bilirubin)
- Jaundice gravidarum: Bilirubin builds up in the gallbladder. Causes: liver disease, hypersensitivity of the biliary tract to hormonal increase in the blood
Risk factors for jaundice: gallbladder stones, pancreatic / liver cancer, mononucleosis, favism.
Jaundice is essentially manifested by a yellowish color in the sclera, skin and mucous membranes; the change in color is the immediate reflection of an exaggerated increase in bilirubin in the blood, which tends to accumulate locally.
The information on Jaundice - Medicines to Treat Jaundice is not intended to replace the direct relationship between health care professional and patient. Always consult your doctor and / or specialist before taking Jaundice - Medicines for the Treatment of Jaundice.
If neonatal jaundice is considered a pseudo-physiological and reversible form after a few days from birth, the jaundice that occurs during adulthood is instead more alarming and a lit indicator of pathology in progress. According to this, newborns who experience jaundice are generally not subjected to any treatment; only in some cases, young patients are exposed to phototherapy.
Only in rare circumstances, neonatal jaundice is considered pathological; for example, when it appears already from the first day of life, when the direct bilirubin concentration exceeds the value of 1.5-2 mg / dl or when the condition persists for more than In problematic cases, doses of albumin can be administered intravenously, useful for preventing the deposit of bilirubin in the tissues and, sometimes, phenobarbital.
Jaundice that occurs during adulthood is more problematic; before intervening with drugs, it is recommended to undergo all the necessary tests to isolate the triggering cause; after having identified the etiological element, it is possible to proceed with the therapy.
The following are the classes of drugs most used in the therapy against jaundice, and some examples of pharmacological specialties; it is up to the doctor to choose the most suitable active ingredient and dosage for the patient, based on the severity of the disease, the state of health of the patient and his response to treatment:
- Phenobarbital (eg. Luminale, Gardenale, Fenoba FN): the drug belongs to the class of anticonvulsants and is also used for the treatment of pathological jaundice in infants and children under the age of 12. Indicatively, it is recommended to take one dose of drug equal to 3-8 mg / kg per day, possibly divided into 2-3 doses Do not exceed 12 mg / kg per day Consult your doctor.
- Albumin (eg Album.Um.Immuno, Albutein, Albital): available in solution to be injected intravenously, albumin is used in therapy for the treatment of jaundice, especially for the neonatal one. The drug is indicated to hinder the accumulation of bilirubin in the tissues. The dosage and duration of treatment are the sole responsibility of a doctor.
Medicines used in therapy to treat gallbladder-related jaundice:
- Chenodeoxycholic acid: is the most important bile acid produced by the liver. The active ingredient is used in therapy to help dissolve gallbladder stones, even in the context of jaundice; treatment with this drug is able to partially or totally dissolve the gallbladder stones (made up of cholesterol), thus resolving l "jaundice dependent on gallbladder stones. Consult your doctor for the posology and method of administration.
- Ursodeoxycholic acid or ursodiol (eg. Ursobil HT, Acido Ursodes AGE, Litursol): the administration of these drugs has proved particularly suitable for the dissolution of cholesterol stones in the gallbladder, also in the context of jaundice. The recommended dosage is as follows : 8-12 mg / kg orally per day, in a single dose, in the evening or in two divided doses; prolong the therapy up to two years (maintenance therapy: 250 mg per day). drug is indispensable for the healing of the disease (stones) and to clear the secondary effects (in this case, jaundice). Consult your doctor.
Drugs used in therapy for the treatment of "jaundice dependent on mononucleosis:
- Aciclovir (eg. Aciclovir, Xerese, Zovirax): in some cases of mononucleosis, possibly associated with jaundice, the doctor prescribes this substance, the drug of choice for the treatment of Herpes simplex.
- Ibuprofen (eg. Brufen, Moment, Subitene) the drug is an anti-inflammatory / analgesic (NSAID): it is recommended to take orally from 200 to 400 mg of active ingredient (tablets, effervescent sachets) every 4-6 hours, as needed. In some cases, the analgesic can also be given intravenously (400 to 800 mg every 6 hours, as needed)
It is clear that in this case the jaundice is simply a secondary sign of the disease, therefore the patient must first be treated with specific drugs for the most serious disease (mononucleosis), which will gradually lead to the cancellation of all accompanying symptoms, just like jaundice.
For further information: see the article on drugs for the treatment of mononucleosis.
- Patients suffering from favism and jaundice must scrupulously refrain from ingesting broad beans, peas and drugs that can trigger the disease (NSAIDs, antipyretics, sulfonamides, analgesics, some antibiotics, etc.)
- Patients with pancreatic and liver cancer, as we have seen, can also be affected by jaundice: tumors, which are difficult to treat, can be treated with antineoplastic drugs (eg Gemcitabine, Docetaxel, Mitomycin for the treatment of pancreatic cancer and Sorafenib for liver cancer). The eventual resolution of the neoplasm will also lead to the disappearance of the jaundice.
- When jaundice is caused by cirrhosis, it is recommended to avoid alcohol; possibly, it is possible to use some drugs, if the cirrhosis is caused by bacterial infections (Amoxicillin is particularly indicated). When cirrhosis, accompanied by jaundice, degenerates into hepatic encephalopathy, it is possible to take Lactulose.
For further information: see the article on drugs for the treatment of cirrhosis.
Other articles on "Jaundice - Medicines to Treat" Jaundice "
- Jaundice in infants
- Jaundice in pregnancy
- Jaundice - Herbal medicine
- Diet for Jaundice