Medical Surgical Liver Overview #5

Question

Which response will the body have to a medication metabolized by the liver if the liver is diseased and not functioning properly?

Answers

  1. No change in response
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because increased medication reaction will occur in clients with liver dysfunction or failure. Most drugs are metabolized in the liver. This means they are broken down and gradually inactivated by the liver. If the individual has liver dysfunction, damage, or failure, then this function is altered. This can cause the medication to remain active in the body and not be eliminated, causing an increased and lingering medication response.

  2. Increased medication response
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because increased medication reaction will occur in clients with liver dysfunction or failure. Most drugs are metabolized in the liver. This means they are broken down and gradually inactivated by the liver. If the individual has liver dysfunction, damage, or failure, then this function is altered. This can cause the medication to remain active in the body and not be eliminated, causing an increased and lingering medication response. This can be very dangerous for the client since increased and lingering medication response could prove to be lethal for the client.

  3. Decreased medication response
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because increased medication reaction (not decreased) will occur in clients with liver dysfunction or failure. Most drugs are metabolized in the liver. This means they are broken down and gradually inactivated by the liver. If the individual has liver dysfunction, damage, or failure, then this function is altered. This can cause the medication to remain active in the body and not be eliminated, causing an increased and lingering medication response. This can be very dangerous for the client since increased and lingering medication response could prove to be lethal for the client.

  4. Completely eliminates drug response
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because increased medication reaction will occur in clients with liver dysfunction or failure. The drug response is not completely, but an unsafe level of medication is in the body. Most drugs are metabolized in the liver. This means they are broken down and gradually inactivated by the liver. If the individual has liver dysfunction, damage, or failure, then this function is altered. This can cause the medication to remain active in the body and not be eliminated, causing an increased and lingering medication response. This can be very dangerous for the client since increased and lingering medication response could prove to be lethal for the client.

Overview

If an individual has liver dysfunction or failure, medications normally metabolized by the liver will have an increased therapeutic response in the body.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

One of the functions of the liver is metabolism of drugs. Most drugs are metabolized by the liver and a few, metabolized by the kidney. Medications are broken down and gradually inactivated by the liver. This is anticipated when a medication dosage is determined. If the individual has liver dysfunction, damage, or failure, then this function is altered. This can cause the medication to remain active in the body and not be eliminated, causing an increased and lingering medication response. This can be very dangerous for the client since increased and lingering medication response could prove to be lethal for the client. The nurse should monitor the client with liver dysfunction and report increased and lingering responses to medications to the healthcare provider.

Test Taking Tip

Understanding how the healthy liver metabolizes medications is important to correctly answering this question. Metabolization of medications in the body should eventually inactivate the medication in the body.

Video Rationale