Emerging drugs for complications of end-stage liver disease

Joanna Dowman, Andrew Holt, Philip Newsome, David Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The prevalence of end-stage liver disease is rising rapidly and constitutes a major healthcare burden currently. Many cases are diagnosed at a later stage when liver transplantation is the only effective treatment option. There is thus an urgent need for novel treatments to reverse the earlier stages of cirrhosis as well as to treat the many associated life-threatening complications. OBJECTIVES: To review the current drugs available for treating the complications of advanced liver disease. To address novel treatment strategies that are in development, with particular reference to the rapidly developing area of antifibrotic therapy. To assess how the obstacles that have so far impeded the development of effective new drugs for end-stage liver disease may be overcome in the future. METHODS: The literature was reviewed to define current therapies and therapies in clinical trials. We used the current models of the molecular basis of liver fibrogenesis to determine potential new therapeutic targets for antifibrotic therapy. CONCLUSIONS: Insights into the pathogenesis of liver injury and fibrosis have opened up new avenues for therapy and there are now candidates and targets with real potential for the development of a new generation of antifibrotic therapies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-74
Number of pages16
JournalExpert Opinion on Emerging Drugs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2008


  • pentoxifylline
  • cytokine inhibitors
  • antioxidants
  • hepatic stellate cell
  • end-stage liver disease
  • antifibrotic
  • terlipressin
  • hepatorenal syndrome
  • PPAR gamma agonists
  • sulfasalazine
  • NF kappa B inhibitors
  • cirrhosis


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