Drug Induced Liver Injury Attributed to a Curcumin Supplement

Case Rep Gastrointest Med. 2019 Oct 20:2019:6029403. doi: 10.1155/2019/6029403. eCollection 2019.


More severe reactions, higher acute liver failure rates, and higher recurrence rates on re-challenge occur with supplement-related Drug Induced Liver Injury (DILI) (Medina-Caliz et al., 2018). We report a case of curcumin-induced hepatocellular DILI in a 78-year old female admitted with jaundice, with a one-month latency. Extensive evaluation for alternative etiologies of hepatotoxicity was unremarkable. The Roussel Uclaf Causality Assessment Method (RUCAM) score of 6 for the supplement indicated a probable association (score >8: highly probable association). Peak levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were >20 times upper limit of normal. A 48% decrease in AST and ALT levels was observed 7 days after discontinuation of the supplement, and resolution of transaminitis was observed in 42 days. No re-challenge was performed. In conclusion, this case emphasizes the importance of recognizing curcumin supplements as DILI triggers. Furthermore, it reiterates the need for careful evaluation of herbal and dietary supplements (HDS) consumed by patients to identify potential DILI culprits, and to ultimately prevent DILI reactions with significant morbidity and mortality.

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