NIH has announced the launch of a new online database for health care providers and researchers studying liver injuries associated with prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and supplements, AHA News reports (AHA News, 10/12).
Details of the Database
The no-cost database, called LiverTox, currently contains information on about 700 medications available by prescription or over the counter in the U.S. Officials plan to add another 300 drugs to the system over the next few years.
The database offers:
- A report on each drug, including background information, dosage data and case studies;
- An overview of drug-induced liver injury, including diagnostic information; and
- A section allowing users to report cases of drug-induced liver injury.
Reports of drug-induced liver injury automatically will be forwarded to FDA, which monitors the safety of medical products.
Goals of the Initiative
Jay Hoofnagle -- the primary developer of the database and director of the Liver Disease Research Branch at NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases -- said, "By integrating data that tends to be scattered across the published literature into a single, readily accessible place, we hope to bring greater focus and interest to the study of drug-induced liver injury, and to guide doctors" on reducing liver injury.
Steven Phillips -- co-sponsor of LiverTox and director of the National Library of Medicine's Division of Specialized Information Services -- said that he hopes the initiative will lead to the creation of other databases that could study drug-induced injury to other organs, such as the heart, kidney and lung (NIH release, 10/12).