Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill and the have developed a new method they believe predicts patients that might be at risk to liver damage from adverse drug reactions.

By using urine tests, the researchers say “might identify” at-risk individuals.

was published in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

The study was based on results from healthy adult volunteers who were given acetaminophen (Tylenol).

“Severe adverse drug reactions typically occur weeks to months after starting treatment with the offending drug,” said Paul Watkins, professor of medicine at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and an investigator in the study, in a statement. “The ability to predict who will develop these reactions has long eluded the research community. This approach, which is called ‘metabolomics,’ has the potential to make many drugs much safer.”

According to the Hamner, urine samples were analyzed using high-resolution magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

“The researchers found that within one or two days of treatment, specific patterns of urine metabolites could predict who would subsequently develop the mild liver injury,” the Hamner said.

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