Toxic hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver in response to drugs, chemicals and circulating metabolites. Signs and symptoms of toxic hepatitis include yellowing of the skin, itching, abdominal pain in the upper right portion of the abdomen, fatigue, loss of appetite. In Singapore, Hepatitis is endemic but the infection is relatively low compared to other parts of Southeast Asia. Around 1 in 35 adult Singaporeans are Hepatitis B carriers. Up to 50% of hepatitis B carriers in Singapore have chronic hepatitis, shown by raised serum ALT values and liver histology, and about 10% are infected with the precore mutant virus. About 20% of carriers have cirrhosis.
No specific treatment exists for toxic hepatitis. Treatment is usually supportive and includes removal from toxic chemicals. Patients improve quickly once the exposure to the toxin or chemical is stopped. People with severe symptoms are likely to receive supportive therapy in the hospital, including intravenous fluids and medication to relieve nausea and vomiting. Patients are advised to avoid further exposure to the hepatotoxic agent, reduce alcohol intake and practice good personal hygiene to reduce absorption, proper precautions should be taken to prevent the exposure to chemicals in work place.