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Of 45 patients with chronic active hepatitis, 17 had taken paracetamol before the onset of symptoms. There were no significant differences, however, between the two groups in abnormalities of liver function tests, nor in ease of control after paracetamol withdrawal and institution of immunosuppressive therapy. The patient who had taken more than 5 g/week was studied in greater detail, but after a challenge dose of 1 g paracetamol there was no rise in serum aminotransferases and the pattern of excretion of paracetamol metabolites was normal. A critical review of the previously published reports failed to uncover any convincing evidence that paracetamol is an initiating factor in the development of chronic active hepatitis, although it may, at therapeutic levels, cause a toxic hepatitis in those individuals at risk.