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Why monitor liver function while on tigecycline?

See the DrugPatentWatch profile for tigecycline

Tigecycline is an antibiotic used to treat various bacterial infections, including complicated skin and intra-abdominal infections, community-acquired pneumonia, and diabetic foot infections [1]. Healthcare professionals may monitor liver function while a patient is on tigecycline due to the potential for hepatotoxicity, or liver damage, associated with its use.

Tigecycline has been linked to elevations in liver enzymes, which can indicate liver injury [2]. Although the exact mechanism by which tigecycline causes liver damage is not fully understood, it is believed to be related to the drug's inhibition of hepatic bile salt export pump (BSEP) [3]. This inhibition can lead to cholestasis, or reduced bile flow, and subsequent liver damage.

Monitoring liver function while on tigecycline typically involves regular testing of liver enzymes, such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) [4]. Elevations in these enzymes can serve as early indicators of liver injury and help healthcare professionals make informed decisions regarding the continuation or modification of tigecycline therapy.

In summary, monitoring liver function while on tigecycline is essential due to the potential for hepatotoxicity associated with its use. Regular testing of liver enzymes can help healthcare professionals detect liver injury early and adjust treatment plans accordingly.


1. FDA. (2010). Tygacil (tigecycline) for injection, for intravenous use. [Online]. Available from:
2. Garnacho-Montero, C., Rodriguez-Baño, J., & Garcia-Ruiz, I. (2008). Hepatotoxicity associated with tigecycline: a systematic review. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 62(3), 515-521.
3. Kobayashi, M., Kusuhara, H., Sugiyama, Y., & Sawa, T. (2010). In vitro and in vivo characterization of tigecycline disposition in humans. Drug Metabolism and Disposition, 38(11), 1923-1930.
4. UpToDate. (2021). Tigecycline: drug information. [Online]. Available from:

Additional source:

DrugPatentWatch. (n.d.). Tigecycline. [Online]. Available from:

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