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Is it safe to continue with pregnancy while suffering from acute liver failure caused due to pain medication?

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Posted on Wed, 8 Jan 2014
Question: Hi, I have a question on behalf of my sister in law. A few weeks ago she was diagnosed with Acute liver failure after finding out that she was pregnant. I think the doctors told her that her liver failure was caused by the strong pain medication she was taking after being in a car wreck a couple of months before. From what she was told her options are A) to interrupt the pregnancy to take the required dose of her prescription that can safe her liver or B) continue her pregnancy (she can't take the dosage she requires if pregnant) and her risk of dying is high for her and the babies. She has been to three different doctors who don't give her much hopel. What is the usual outcome for someone in this situation? Are there no other options? What is would be the necessary steps for the best possible solution. Thank you so much!
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Answered by Dr. Klerida Shehu (1 hour later)
Brief Answer: Please follow the suggestions below... Detailed Answer: Hi I read carefully all your sister in low concerns and I am so sorry for her situation. This is one of the most difficult decision taken in our clinical practice. This decision should be taken from e group of doctors include OBSGYN and gastroenterologists and from her. In our clinical practice firstly we take care for mother's life and than for the baby's life. Unfortunately liver failure is a life threatening situation. But kindly I want to know her pregnancy age( in weeks) and liver panel( if it is possible) to give my exact opinion. Hope you will write me back. Best regards Dr.Klerida
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Follow up: Dr. Klerida Shehu (27 hours later)
Dr. Klerida, She is 12 weeks pregnant at the moment. I don't know her liver panel. She just went to get a checkup yesterday to proceed with the abortion :( Is the decision usually taken by a group of doctors? They just told her that its a life threatening condition for her and the babies without the proper medication. But at the same time they're not allowed to prescribe her the medication she needs due to her pregnancy.
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Answered by Dr. Klerida Shehu (18 hours later)
Brief Answer: Please follow the suggestions below... Detailed Answer: Hi, I understand that the situation of your sister is sad. As she is diagnosed with liver failure, which is a life-threatening situation, the very first thing to do is to care for the mother. Abortion is the first step to take in this moment as no therapy can start while being pregnant. She is only 12 weeks pregnant, where the organs are not formed well, so, abortion is less risky. Usually, there is consultation of a group of doctors (including GI and OG specialists and others) before running into the conclusion of abortion. She is young and after "defeating" liver failure, she can get pregnant again. All the best to your sister and all of you! Dr.Klerida
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Dr. Klerida Shehu

Gastroenterologist

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 2265 Questions

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Is it safe to continue with pregnancy while suffering from acute liver failure caused due to pain medication?

Brief Answer: Please follow the suggestions below... Detailed Answer: Hi I read carefully all your sister in low concerns and I am so sorry for her situation. This is one of the most difficult decision taken in our clinical practice. This decision should be taken from e group of doctors include OBSGYN and gastroenterologists and from her. In our clinical practice firstly we take care for mother's life and than for the baby's life. Unfortunately liver failure is a life threatening situation. But kindly I want to know her pregnancy age( in weeks) and liver panel( if it is possible) to give my exact opinion. Hope you will write me back. Best regards Dr.Klerida