The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued a safety advisory regarding an association between liver injury and medicines containing turmeric or curcumin. The TGA has received 18 reports of liver problems in people taking products containing turmeric or curcumin, including one fatality.

Following a safety investigation, the TGA concludes that the current evidence demonstrates a rare risk of liver injury from taking medicinal products containing curcumin. Factors that potentially increase the risk of liver injury include high curcumin doses, products with enhanced absorption, and pre-existing liver problems. As a precautionary measure, the TGA advises that curcumin-containing medicines should be avoided by people with a history of liver problems.

Evidence suggests that the incidence of liver injury related to herbal and dietary supplements is increasing in Australia. As complementary medicines are typically considered safe, patients may not always think it relevant to inform their healthcare professional that they are taking them. Utilising the principles of the best possible medication history ensures that these types of products are not missed when a patient presents to hospital.


  1. Department of Health and Aged Care. Medicines containing turmeric or curcumin – risk of liver injury. Woden: Therapeutic Goods Administration; 2023.
  2. Nash E, Sabih AH, Chetwood J, Wood G, Pandya K, Yip T, et al. Drug‐induced liver injury in Australia, 2009–2020: the increasing proportion of non‐paracetamol cases linked with herbal and dietary supplements. Med J Aust. 2021; 215 (6): 261-268.

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