Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. Toxic hepatitis refers to inflammation of the liver due to medication or exposure to toxic chemicals. Inflammation is a response by the immune system to an infection, irritation, or injury that often results in swelling and harm to the affected tissue.

Hepatitis
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A major job of the liver is to process and breakdown foreign substances contained in the blood, including nutrients and chemicals. Some chemicals or drugs that are difficult for the liver to process can damage it, resulting in inflammation.

Some substances associated with toxic hepatitis include:

  • Medications:
  • Herbs and dietary supplements:
    • Comfrey
    • Kava
    • Mistletoe
    • Certain combinations of traditional Chinese medical herbs
    • High doses of vitamin A
    • Certain dietary supplements for weight loss
  • Chemicals:
    • Alcohol
    • Polychlorinated biphenyls
    • Chloroform
    • Phosphorous
    • Dimethylformamide
    • Carbon tetrachloride