Metamizole as a Rare Cause of Drug-Induced Liver Injury

  • Nevena Preveden Department of Internal Medicine, Gesundheitszentrum Fricktal, Rheinfelden, Switzerland; Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  • Matthias E Liechti Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  • Tobias Oettl Department of Internal Medicine, Gesundheitszentrum Fricktal, Rheinfelden, Switzerland
  • Stefan Erb Department of Internal Medicine, Gesundheitszentrum Fricktal, Rheinfelden, Switzerland; Praxengemeinschaft Warteckhof, Basel, Switzerland


Metamizole, drug-induced liver injury (DILI), systemic inflammatory response syndrome


Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is a heterogenous entity with a wide range of pathogenetic mechanisms and clinical manifestations. DILI is a diagnosis of exclusion. Metamizole (dipyrone) is an analgesic increasingly used in Europe, but there is limited information on its adverse effects. We report the case of a 56-year-old man with acute fever, malaise and general deterioration. Onset of symptoms occurred 12 hours after intake of metamizole for shoulder pain. The patient’s medical history was remarkable for three episodes of an inflammatory syndrome with hepatitis of unknown aetiology during the previous 3 years. However, retrospective enquiry showed each episode was preceded by metamizole intake shortly before symptom onset. Relevant differential diagnoses such as infection, vasculitis, autoimmune or metabolic diseases were excluded. Liver biopsy was compatible with DILI. Discontinuation of metamizole led to rapid clinical improvement and normalization of liver transaminases.
Metamizole is a very rare and poorly known cause of DILI with only a few published case reports in the literature. Careful medical history taking is important to identify the causative agent. Prompt recognition and discontinuation of the drug is crucial. Patients must be informed to avoid this medication in future.



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  • Published: 2022-05-30

    Issue: 2022: Vol 9 No 5 (view)

    Section: Articles

    How to cite:
    Preveden N, Liechti ME, Oettl T, Erb S. Metamizole as a Rare Cause of Drug-Induced Liver Injury. EJCRIM 2022;9 doi:10.12890/2022_003349.