Cost of the paracetamol overdose epidemic

Paracetamol was the commonest drug used, either by itself (51.8%) or in combination with other substances (4.7%). We believe there is increased use of medicinal drugs in self poisoning in other urban areas of the country as well. Number of N-acetylcysteine vials issued by year Year NAC vials 2004 10299 2005 12315 2006 24001 2007 36559 Source: Medical Supplies Division Table 1 shows that the number of N-acetylcysteine vials issued by the Medical Supplies Division for the whole country has gone up more than 3 fold over a period of 4 years. In 1988, after legislation in the United Kingdom limited the previously unrestricted sale limit of paracetamol for pharmacies to a maximum of 32 tablets, and for other retail outlets from 24 to 16 tablets, the frequency of severe hepatotoxicity and deaths due to paracetamol overdose reduced. Because of the Cost of the paracetamol overdose epidemic To the Editors: low mortality rates, the surge of paracetamol poisoning has not received the attention that organophosphate poisoning does.A study done in the National Hospital of Sri Lanka in 2007 reported a different pattern, with medicinal drugs accounting for 68% of admissions due to self poisoning. Despite the increasing incidence of paracetamol overdose, the costs are not considered high as the case fatality rate is low, unlike in pesticide poisoning.

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