Toxic hepatitis is an inflammation of liver in reaction to certain substances to which the patient is exposed. It can be caused by alcohol, chemicals, drugs or nutritional supplements. Symptoms include 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. A huge increase in reported cases of Hepatitis in Ireland over the past decade is due to better screening programmes and an increasing number of cases which have originated abroad and among IV drug users, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).
People with severe symptoms are likely to receive supportive therapy in the hospital, including intravenous fluids and medication to relieve nausea and vomiting. Patients with irreversible damage to the liver may require liver transplant. The symptoms often go away when exposure to the toxin stops. People who are at risk due to liver disease should check with their doctor for a list of medications to avoid. Appropriate work gear must be used to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals.