Toxic hepatitis: symptoms and treatment

Toxic hepatitis is an inflammatory process in the liver that occurs as a reaction to the action of various toxic agents. Mostly, this disease occurs due to the action on the body of various toxic substances, for example, alcohol, drugs, toxins contained in poisonous fungi, or toxins that secrete various viruses, bacteria and fungi that parasitize the body.

The disease is chronic or acute. Acute toxic hepatitis occurs when a large concentration of toxic substances penetrates the body at the same time. Clinical manifestations in this case appear literally on the second-third day and differ markedly. Chronic toxic hepatitis is a consequence of prolonged poisoning of the liver with poisonous substances that enter the human body in small amounts. Symptoms of such a disease can manifest themselves months later, and even years after the beginning of the entry of poisonous agents into the body.

An acute and chronic form of pathology is dangerous for human life. First, because such a disease can lead to liver failure, and also because liver cirrhosis can develop, followed by hepatic insufficiency. That is, in any case, without treatment, the prognosis of the course of the disease is unfavorable, and the likelihood of a lethal outcome is very high. Particularly dangerous for a person is drug toxic hepatitis caused by prolonged use of medications, in particular antibiotics.


As mentioned above, the disease occurs due to the action on the liver cells of poisonous agents. In this case, the intake of poison into the body can be caused by the professional activity of a person — that is, the body is poisoned when a person works in unfavorable conditions. Also poisons can get into the human body intentionally — when he himself will use them for suicide, or when someone will offer to use them intentionally, with the goal of murder. By the way, the use of liver poisons for the purpose of committing a criminally punishable act is an extremely common way to deprive a person of life, therefore, when the dead people are opened, the doctor carefully examines the liver cells, trying to detect traces of poison in them.

Another way of getting poisonous substances into the body is random. That is, when a person does not understand that the use of a substance can damage his health. This is how medicinal hepatitis usually appears — a person uses various medications for a long time, not knowing that they are causing irreparable damage to the cells of his liver.

For liver cells, poisons are:

  • Many medications;
  • alcohol;
  • poisons contained in plants and fungi
  • components in industrial production, in particular insecticides, arsenic, phosphorus, pesticides and others

Note that drug-induced hepatitis occurs due to various causes. One of them is the above-mentioned — long-term administration of medications leading to chronic poisoning. However, acute toxic hepatitis can occur with single-dose administration of drugs, especially intramuscularly or intravenously. In addition, inhalation of toxic drugs is considered very dangerous, as it causes acute drug-induced hepatitis very quickly.

Toxic hepatitis is not a contagious disease, although under some conditions it is possible to infect other people. In particular, with oral caresses, infection can occur if the toxic agent is in fragments of fecal matter transmitted from the patient to the healthy during oral sex. But for the sake of justice, it should be noted that this method of infection is rare, therefore, it can be considered that toxic hepatitis can not be transmitted from person to person.


If it is a chronic pathology, then it can be asymptomatic for a long time. Therefore, when signs of the disease appear, it already affects a large number of liver cells, which is fraught with severe conditions. In acute form, signs usually appear quickly, so diagnosing pathology in this case is much easier.

Typical symptoms of toxic hepatitis are as follows:

  1. the appearance of small hemorrhage on the skin (petechia)
  2. darkening of the urine
  3. discoloration of feces;
  4. yellowing of the mucous membranes and skin
  5. frequent nasal bleeding and hemorrhages

A person with this diagnosis can experience itching, losing weight, including anorexia, complaining of bitterness in the mouth and eructation, and other symptoms of digestive disorders. With the progression of the process, more severe symptoms appear, such as vomiting, a rise in body temperature with a violation of the general condition, acute or dull pain in the right hypochondrium, as well as signs of psychoemotional disorder (confusion, hallucinations, loss of consciousness and even coma).

Severe conditions can lead to the death of a person, so it is so important to diagnose the disease in time and prescribe a treatment.

Diagnosis and treatment

To diagnose toxic hepatitis with only one examination of the patient and the collection of his anamnesis is impossible, although taking into account the specifics of his professional activity, the disease can still be suspected. Therefore, the diagnosis uses methods such as ultrasound, CT and MRI. But the most revealing are the laboratory methods that allow to determine the level of bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, AST and ALT, as well as gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase.

The treatment of toxic hepatitis is the removal of toxic substances from the body. Therefore, patients with this diagnosis shows bed rest and gastric lavage. In addition, they are assigned enterosorbents, allowing to remove poisons from the intestine, and the introduction of intravenous drugs, also removing toxins. Obligatory is the use of hepatoprotectors, protecting liver cells and restoring them — Heptral, Essentiale and others.

In addition, the treatment of toxic hepatitis involves the intake of vitamins that increase overall immunity, and choleretic medications that can speed up the process of excretion of poisons. If a patient has toxic toxic hepatitis, or if it is known which poisons caused the disease, it is necessary to urgently stop the supply of medications or other substances into the body, since without this treatment will not have the effect. In some cases, the reception of antidotes, which neutralize certain poisonous substances, is shown. And of course, the patient is shown a certain diet — protein-free diet.

Some people treat toxic hepatitis with folk remedies. However, all the methods that can be used to treat this disease at home are effective only at the initial stages of the disease. In particular, you can artificially induce vomiting to relieve the stomach of poisons, or apply a cold compress on the forehead in order to take off the temperature.

But traditional treatment can not in any case replace medical therapy, and therefore such methods can be undertaken only to support the body until the moment when a person can consult a doctor. And usually these methods are effective only for acute poisoning — in chronic people do not understand what caused his poor health.

If a person develops medicinal hepatitis, he will also need artificial inducing of vomiting, but because such a pathology occurs only with prolonged exposure to poisons to the liver, other folk methods of treatment will be useless and only in a hospital can a person save a life .