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.
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
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
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.