What are the Common Hepatitis a Side Effects?

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  • Written By: Marisa O'Connor
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2018
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Hepatitis A side effects are primarily caused by inflammation of the liver. Jaundice and abdominal pain are a couple of symptoms of liver inflammation. Flu-like symptoms, nausea, and diarrhea are also signs of hepatitis A, as are vomiting, rashes, and itching. Side effects of this virus vary from non-existent to severe, depending on each case. A doctor's evaluation is required for a proper diagnosis.

The liver is the body's primary waste filtration system. It works together with the rest of the body to make sure waste and toxins leave the body. Inflammation of the liver impairs its ability to dispose of waste and toxins. Complications of hepatitis A are quite rare, but can be fatal.

The most easily recognized hepatitis A side effects are jaundice. Symptoms of jaundice are yellow coloring of the skin, dark yellow or brown urine, and a yellow tint in the whites of the eyes. The yellow color comes from a buildup of the chemical billirubin, which is normally processed into waste by the liver. Unfortunately, hepatitis A prevents the liver from properly functioning, resulting in waste buildup and jaundice.


One of the more uncomfortable hepatitis A side effects is pain in the liver region. This pain occurs under the rib cage on the right side of the abdomen. It is a result of the virus on the liver, literally hurting the organ. The inflammation affects the nerves in the area surrounding the liver that send pain messages to the brain.

Hepatitis A side effects also include flu-like symptoms. Fever, sore muscles, and headache are signs that the body is fighting the infection. This side effect may be mistaken for a common cold or flu if no other side effects are present. Symptoms are typically mild and last only a short amount of time.

Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting are common hepatitis A side effects. These symptoms are caused by liver inflammation. The gastrointestinal system is being utilized by the immune system to help the temporarily disabled liver get rid of toxins in the body as quickly as it can. A secondary side effect of vomiting and diarrhea, if severe, is dehydration. Always make sure anyone displaying these symptoms drinks plenty of fluids.

Rash and severe itching are less common hepatitis A side effects. These can occur if cholestatic hepatitis develops, which is relatively rare. If liver inflammation causes enough damage, the liver cannot send bile to the gallbladder. Itching and rash may be an indication that this is occurring in the body.

Treating hepatitis A is typically as simple as getting plenty of rest. Nearly all cases of hepatitis A heal on their own. Many people show no symptoms and never know they were infected. Unlike hepatitis B and C, this virus is temporary and not very threatening.



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