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Liver health medications are prescribed to address specific liver conditions or to support overall liver function. These medications are typically used to manage liver diseases, promote liver regeneration, reduce inflammation, or protect the liver from further damage. It's important to note that the use of liver health medications should always be under the guidance of a healthcare professional or liver specialist.
Here are some common types of medications used for liver health:
- Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA): UDCA is commonly prescribed for the treatment of certain liver diseases, such as primary biliary cholangitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis. It helps to improve bile flow, reduce liver inflammation, and protect liver cells.
- Antiviral medications: Antiviral medications are used to treat viral infections that affect the liver, such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C. These medications aim to suppress viral replication, reduce liver inflammation, and prevent disease progression.
- Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids, such as prednisone or prednisolone, may be prescribed to reduce liver inflammation in conditions like autoimmune hepatitis or certain types of drug-induced liver injury. They work by suppressing the immune system's response that may be contributing to liver damage.
- N-acetylcysteine (NAC): NAC is an antioxidant medication that is sometimes used in cases of acetaminophen (paracetamol) overdose or as a supportive treatment for certain liver conditions. It helps to replenish glutathione, a key antioxidant in the liver, and may have protective effects.
- Liver protective agents: These medications, such as silymarin (milk thistle extract), are used as complementary treatments to support liver health and protect liver cells. They may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.