ABC Medical Center > Toxic hepatitis

What is Toxic hepatitis?

22:04 - 4 December , 2023


It is an inflammatory process of the liver caused by exposure to or ingestion of various toxins, such as chemicals, alcoholic beverages, drugs (painkillers, antibiotics, antivirals, and steroids) dietary supplements, and some herbal remedies.

Toxic hepatitis usually appears shortly after exposure to the toxin (hours or days), but in other cases, the reaction may gradually develop over weeks or months until the first symptoms appear.

Although symptoms usually stop when there is no more ingestion or exposure to the toxic substance, sometimes the liver damage suffered can be permanent, causing scar tissue that can trigger cirrhosis which can cause potentially fatal liver failure.

Toxic hepatitis occurs when the liver is not able to metabolize and break down a specific substance, resulting in an inflammatory process that damages the organ temporarily or permanently.

Signs and symptoms Toxic hepatitis

  • High fever.
  • Weight loss.
  • Dark urine.
  • Jaundice.
  • Itch.
  • Abdominal colic in the upper right area.
  • Fatigue.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomit.
  • Rash.

Diagnosis and treatment Toxic hepatitis

Once the doctor analyzes your symptoms and medical history, they will perform a physical examination and ask you if you have been taking medications, dietary supplements, or herbal remedies, or if you have been exposed to chemicals.

They will also request imaging studies to confirm the diagnosis, such as:

  • Blood tests.
  • MRI.
  • Computed tomography.
  • Ultrasound.
  • Elastography.
  • Liver tissue biopsy.

The treatment to be followed will be established once the cause of hepatitis is determined and the injury produced is known, which consists of suspending intake or exposure to the toxic substance and prescribing medications to regenerate the liver and reverse the damage.

If there are serious symptoms, you will need to receive treatment in a hospital to eliminate the toxic substance as soon as possible.

When there is serious irreversible damage that causes severe liver failure, the only therapeutic option will be a liver transplant.

In ABC Medical Center Internal Medicine Department, we provide you with health care services with the highest quality and safety, from prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and follow-up of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological conditions, both chronic-degenerative and acute, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


  • Carbonell ATD, Moné MM, García FJL. Algunas consideraciones clinicopatogénicas de las hepatitis tóxicas. MediSan. 2012;16(01):127-134.
  • Haber-Reyes FE, Bonilla-Padrón D. Hepatitis tóxica hepatocelular y colestasis disociada inversa por sobredosis. Informe de caso. Mediciego. 2020;26(4):1-8.

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