Fatal fulminant hepatitis associated with bromfenac use

John M. Rabkin, Megan J. Smith, Susan L. Orloff, Christopher L. Corless, Peter Stenzel, Ali J. Olyaei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To report a case of fulminant hepatic failure associated with the use of bromfenac, a new analog of the phenyl acetate class of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. CASE SUMMARY: A 60-year-old white woman with liver failure who had no known history of chronic liver disease was transferred to the liver transplant unit for evaluation. For three months preceding her illness, the patient was treated with bromfenac 25 mg po qid for arthritic pain. Prior to the initiation of bromfenac, her liver function test results were normal. Etiologic evaluation at presentation was unremarkable. The patient's condition continued to deteriorate, with the development of hepatic encephalopathy and worsening liver function test results while awaiting liver transplantation. Progressive hepatic and renal dysfunction along with respiratory decompensation ensued, and the patient died 48 days after initial presentation. CONCLUSIONS: Fulminant hepatic failure associated with the prolonged use of bromfenac appears to be an idiosyncratic response consistent with experience with other agents of its class. This case along with other cases of serious hepatotoxicity associated with the use of this agent ultimately resulted in bromfenac's removal from the market.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)945-947
Number of pages3
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Bromfenac
  • Hepatic failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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