2016-06-16 14:39:58 UTC

Cirrhosis 106: Complications

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Things to Be Aware Of

The main possible problems from cirrhosis are:

  • Liver failure (when liver cells stop working).
  • Bleeding caused by portal hypertension (high blood pressure in the liver).
    • This can often be treated with medications from your doctor.
  • Greater risk for liver cancer. The liver should be imaged to screen for liver cancer every six months.


Important Facts About Medication Use


  • Many drugs are filtered by the liver, but this can be slowed down by cirrhosis. 
  • Because the liver may not remove the drugs from the blood as normal, a drug may act longer than called for. 
    • This is especially true of sedatives, medications that make you sleepy. 
    • People with cirrhosis are often very sensitive to medications and their side effects. The dose and frequency of drugs given may need to be reduced.
Cirrhosis – What to Know:
  • Cirrhosis is when the liver is permanently scarred or injured.
  • Cirrhosis can come from chronic conditions or overuse of alcohol.
  • Cirrhosis can be managed, often with good diet and sometimes medication.


© AGA, September 2017

©AGA, July 2016

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