Prolonged cholestasis due to trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole

Gastroenterology. 1992 Jun;102(6):2148-50. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(92)90346-z.


Drug-induced liver injury due to trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole is rare and classified as an unpredictable or idiosyncratic type of hepatotoxic reaction. Early reports suggested that the pattern of liver injury in the majority of cases is mixed hepatocellular-cholestatic. The current report describes two cases of severe, prolonged cholestasis after treatment with trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole; intractable pruritus and abnormal liver test results lasted for 1-2 years after discontinuation of the drug. Liver biopsy specimens showed a cholestatic pattern of liver injury and only minimal hepatocellular necrosis or inflammation. Recent case reports suggest that cholestasis alone may occur after the use of trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole; these two additional cases show that cholestasis may be quite prolonged.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cholestasis / chemically induced*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination / adverse effects*


  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination