Toxic hepatitis refers to inflammation of the liver due to medication or exposure to toxic chemicals, drugs, pollutants and nutritional supplements. In some cases, toxic hepatitis develops within hours or days of exposure to a toxin. In other cases, it may take months of regular use before signs and symptoms of toxic hepatitis appear. Symptoms of toxic hepatitis include yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice), itching, abdominal pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, rash, weight loss and dark or tea-colored urine. There are no proper studies to report the incidence of toxic hepatitis. Most cases of the disease go unreported as the symptoms tend to reduce once the exposure to toxin is stopped. Every drug manufactured causes some form of liver damage or the other.
There is no treatment for most types of toxic hepatitis. If a person is diagnosed with this condition, the toxin should be discontinued immediately and avoided in the future. If symptoms are severe, the patient is advised to rest. IV fluid is recommended for people who experience extreme nausea and vomiting. Symptoms usually go away within a few days or weeks. However, in severe cases, or if the condition was left untreated, toxic hepatitis can lead to irreversible liver failure, which is fatal in the absence of a liver transplant. An individual needs to take extreme care when taking herbal supplements and sure to discuss the supplements with the physician before taking it. People working in the chemical industry need to be extra cautious when being exposed to chemicals.