What is Medication-induced Mitochondrial Damage?

Prescription medications have now emerged as a major cause of mitochondrial damage [1]. Many classes of drugs have been documented to damage mitochondria and mitochondrial damage is now thought to be the underlying mechanism by which many drug side effects occur.

Drug classes shown to cause mitochondrial damage include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Statin drugs
  • Antiviral drugs
  • Antipsychotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Pain medications
  • Epilepsy medications

Symptoms of Medication-induced mitochondrial damage may include:

  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Muscle pain (myopathy)
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Kidney damage
  • Pancreatitis
  • Hepatitis

How are Prescription Drugs Linked to Mitochondrial Dysfunction?

One of the original models for medication-induced mitochondrial damage dates back to the original class of HIV/AIDS medications known as reverse transcriptase inhibitors.

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