Fall in Paracetamol Overdosing After Legislation: UK Study

by Anne Trueman on  February 26, 2013 at 1:08 PM Health Watch
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Paracetamol overdosing is linked with large number of deaths caused by poisoning every year. Scientists profess that by restricting the number of the paracetamol tablets per pack, overdosing can be avoided. This led to the size of paracetamol packs available over the counter being limited by law since 1998 in the UK. The law had to be introduced because a large number of people were using this pill in suicide attempts resulting in deaths or needing liver transplants.
Fall in Paracetamol Overdosing After Legislation: UK Study
Fall in Paracetamol Overdosing After Legislation: UK Study

So, a study published in BMJ revealed that paracetamol related deaths were reduced by 43 percent after the law was introduced. The study conducted by researchers from the University of Oxford Centre for Suicide Research and other institutions in the UK and funded by the National Institute for Health Research found that 17 fewer deaths in every three months were reported after the introduction of legislation.

There was a substantial reduction of 43 percent in the 11-year long post legislation period. Despite the legislation, around 121 deaths due to paracetamol poisoning are still reported every year.

To prevent overdoses packs are sold with maximum 32 tablets through pharmacy sales and 16 by non-pharmacy sales.

There was also a 61 per cent reduction in the number of paracetamol-induced liver transplants in England and Wales following the legislation, according to the researchers.

Source: Medindia

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