Evaluation of liver enzymes in people undergoing methadone maintenance therapy
Introduction: Opioid addiction is a chronic disorder that can create main psychological, systematic, social, and economic problems. Among the different therapies of opioid addiction, Methadone maintenance therapy is one of the many therapeutic approaches. Methadone, like any drugs can effect on some organs. The aim of this study was evaluation of liver enzymes in people undergoing methadone maintenance therapy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this retrospective study, level of liver enzymes including Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST), Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) measured before and 12 mounts after methadone therapy. Data analyzed by SPSS-16 using spearman, paired sample and independent T-test. P-value ≤0.05 considered significance.
RESULTS: 98 people enrolled to study (male/female: 83/15). The mean age of them was 47.21±9.53 years (male/female: 48.42±9.51/40.53±65). Plasma levels of AST before and 12 months after methadone therapy was 31.44±21.61, 40.77±20.00 U/L which significantly increased (p= 0.001). Plasma levels of ALT before and 12 months after methadone therapy was 36.43±33.54 and 39.93±25.52 U/L (p= 0. 183). Plasma levels of ALP before and 12 months after methadone therapy was 263.21±52.19 and 239.42±57.27 U/L which significantly decreased (p= 0.001). Mean dose of methadone in people with abnormal AST levels was higher than people with normal AST (p=0.003). Before methadone therapy, AST in 58.2%, ALT in 50% and ALP in 100% of subjects was higher than normal level.
CONCLUSION: Treatment with methadone has an effect on the Aspartate Aminotransferase for at least one year and may increase it, which can be due to liver damage.
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