TOXIC HEPATITIS

Description

Toxic hepatitis refers to inflammation of the liver due to medication or exposure to toxic chemicals

Symptoms

  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
  • Itching
  • Abdominal pain in the upper right portion of the abdomen
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rash
  • Weight loss
  • Dark or tea-colored urine

Causes

  • Alcohol
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers:
  • Acetaminophen
  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen
  • Prescription medications:
  • Acetaminophen
  • Certain antibiotics
  • Isoniazid
  • Halothane
  • Statins
  • Methyldopa
  • Gold compounds
  • Certain dietary supplements for weight loss
  • Industrial chemicals:
  • Carbon tetrachloride
  • Vinyl chloride
  • Herbicide paraquat
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls

Risk Factors

  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers or certain prescription drugs
  • Having a liver disease
  • Having hepatitis
  • Aging
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Being female
  • Having certain genetic mutations
  • Working with industrial toxins

Diagnostic Tests

  • Physical exam
  • Blood tests
  • Imaging tests:
  • Ultrasound
  • Computerized tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Liver biopsy

Treatment

  • Supportive care
  • Medication to reverse liver damage caused by acetaminophen:
  • Acetylcysteine
  • Liver transplant

Lifestyle Management

  • Limit medications
  • Take medications only as directed
  • Be cautious with herbs and supplements
  • Reducing alcohol and drug consumption
  • Take precautions with chemicals
  • Keep medications and chemicals away from children
  • Weight control