Many of the toxic reactions to phenylbutazone have been reported previously; these have included edema1 and toxic effects on the skin,2 gastrointestinal tract,3 hematopoietic system,4 central nervous system,2a heart,5 and probably the eye.5a The possibility of deleterious effects of phenylbutazone on the liver has not been publicized adequately. The following case reports illustrate the potential severity of such complications.
REPORT OF CASES
A 78-year-old white housewife was hospitalized on Nov. 28, 1952, because of jaundice of four days' duration. For some 40 years she had complained of multiple joint pains, which were caused by degenerative joint disease, especially of the hips. On Oct. 16, 1952, phenylbutazone therapy was started in a daily oral dose of 800 mg. Symptomatic improvement was noted. On or about Nov. 1 she experienced mild abdominal pain, which persisted until her entry into the hospital. On Nov.
Engleman EP, Krupp MA, Rinehart JF, Jones RC, Gibson JR. HEPATITIS FOLLOWING THE INGESTION OF PHENYLBUTAZONE. JAMA. 1954;156(2):98-101. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02950020004002