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Antibiotics Administration and its Possible Liver Damage
The effect of antibiotics on two liver enzymes – serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) also known as glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) and serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) – was studied in a population of adults in Nsukka, Enugu state Nigeria. Standard clinical methods were used for the assays. The results show statistically significant increase (p<0.05) in the levels of both enzymes (which are markers of hepatocellular integrity) in the subjects who took antibiotics when compared to those who did not consume antibiotics. There were no significant differences (p>0.05) between the means of both ALT and ALP for the different sexes. There were however, statistically significant differences (p<0.01) in the means of both ALT and ALP for the number of different antibiotics taken and the duration of antibiotics\' intake. A very strong positive correlation was seen between ALT and ALP (r = +0.767, p<0.001) and between each of the enzymes and the number of different antibiotics taken irrespective of the duration the antibiotics were taken (r = +0.898, p <0.01 for ALT; r = +0.657, p<0.01 for ALP). Also, there was a strong positive correlation between ALT and ALP and the duration of intake of antibiotics irrespective of the number of different antibiotics taken (r = +0.795, p<0.001 for ALT; r = +0.713, p <0.001 for ALP). Both enzymes were weakly, and negatively correlated with the age of the subjects (r = -0.282, p<0.01 for ALT; r = -0.230, p<0.05) for ALP). The study indicts antibiotics in the causation of hepatic damage and calls for caution in the prescription and use of antibiotics by health practitioners and the public.
Keywords: Antibiotics, Liver, Serum alanine aminotransferase, Serum alkaline phosphatase
Bio-Research Vol. 6 (2) 2008: pp. 351-354