Located in the upper right portion of the abdomen, the liver and gallbladder are interconnected by ducts known as the biliary tract, which drains into the first segment of the small intestine (the duodenum). Although the liver and gallbladder participate in some of the same functions, they are very different.
Liver tests are blood tests that represent a noninvasive way to screen for the presence of liver disease (for example, viral hepatitis in donated blood) and to measure the severity and progress of liver disease as well as the response to treatment.
The body must process (chemically alter, or metabolize) drugs to be able to use and eliminate them. Most of this processing occurs in the liver, done by liver enzymes. Thus, drugs and the liver can affect each other in several ways:
The liver produces bile, a greenish yellow, thick, sticky fluid. Bile aids digestion by making cholesterol, fats, and fat-soluble vitamins easier to absorb from the intestine. Bile also helps eliminate certain waste products (mainly bilirubin and excess cholesterol) and by-products of drugs from the body.