Morphine and Liver Damage

  • Louis Shuster
Part of the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Reviews book series (DAAR, volume 2)

Abstract

Recurring reports of a high incidence of liver dysfunction in narcotic addicts have led several investigators to examine the possibility that narcotic drugs, such as heroin and morphine, may be hepatotoxic. The overwhelming consensus is that most of the liver damage encountered among narcotic addicts is attributable to viral hepatitis contracted by the use of dirty needles. This conclusion is supported by the lack of hepatotoxicity in federal-prisoner patients who were injected with large amounts of sterile morphine under controlled conditions. 1 There is also no evidence of increased hepatotoxicity in addicts maintained on oral methadone. 2 Conversely, there is a correlation between the duration of exposure to hypodermic equipment and the cumulative incidence of liver disease.3

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

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  • Louis Shuster

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