Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver and can be characterized as acute or chronic. Acute hepatitis usually lasts no more than a couple of months. Chronic hepatitis can be a lifelong debilitating disease.
Most commonly, the liver becomes inflamed as a result of the hepatic viruses A, B, C, D, or E, which are a major health problem worldwide. Viral hepatitis is contagious, while non-viral forms of hepatitis are not.
In some cases, toxins, alcohol, and many pharmacological medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can also produce hepatitis.