Medication-induced mitochondrial damage and disease.
Nuestadt J, Pieczenik SR.
Montana Integrative Medicine, Bozeman, MT, USA. Fax: +1-866-648-7579.
Since the first mitochondrial dysfunction was described in the 1960s, the medicine has advanced in its understanding the role mitochondria play in health and disease. Medications have now emerged as a major cause of mitochondrial damage, which may explain many adverse effects. All classes of psychotropic drugs have been documented to damage mitochondria, as have statin medications, analgesics such as acetaminophen, and many others.
Damage to mitochondria is now understood to play a role in the pathogenesis of a wide range of seemingly unrelated disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, migraine headaches, strokes, neuropathic pain, Parkinson’s disease, ataxia, transient ischemic attack, cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetes, hepatitis C, and primary biliary cirrhosis.
While targeted nutrient therapies using antioxidants or their prescursors (e. g., N-acetylcysteine) hold promise for improving mitochondrial function, there are large gaps in our knowledge. The most rational approach is to understand the mechanisms underlying mitochondrial damage for specific medications and attempt to counteract their deleterious effects with nutritional therapies. This article reviews our basic understanding of how mitochondria function and how medications damage mitochondria to create their occasionally fatal adverse effects.
PMID: 18626887 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]