Canterbury DHB


Prescribing in Liver Impairment

There is no single marker for quantifying liver impairment (unlike renal excretion).

Drug metabolism is decreased in severe liver disease.

In This Section

General Advice

Pharmacokinetic Considerations

Pharmacodynamic Considerations

General Advice

For general advice, see Individualising Drug Therapy, including: when prescribing ‘start low and go slow’; consider dose tapering after desired effects are achieved and discontinue unnecessary drugs.

Drug metabolism varies substantially between individuals.

There are several causes of decreased drug metabolism:

Assessing metabolic function:

Pharmacokinetic Considerations

Common narrow therapeutic index drugs relevant in liver impairment (not exhaustive):

For specialist advice about using a specific medicine contact the relevant specialty, or Medicines Information (ext 80900).

Pharmacodynamic Considerations

Information about this Canterbury DHB document (93228):

Document Owner:

Not assigned (see Who's Who)

Last Updated:

March 2021 (Prescribing in Liver Impairment)

Next Review Due:

March 2025


Note: Only the electronic version is controlled. Once printed, this is no longer a controlled document.

Topic Code: 93228