UK legislation on analgesic packs: before and after study of long term effect on poisonings BMJ Online First
Selling paracetamol and other painkillers in smaller pack sizes has slashed rates of suicide and damage to the liver from paracetamol poisoning, concludes a study on bmj.com this week. Suicides from overdoses of paracetamol or aspirin dropped nearly a quarter in the three years following new legislation in 1998, which cut pack sizes and limited how many tablets a retailer was allowed to sell.
The researchers also found that numbers of tablets taken in non-fatal overdoses of aspirin and paracetamol fell significantly after the legislation. As a result admissions to liver units for paracetamol poisoning, and numbers of related liver transplants also dropped heavily - down by nearly a third (30%) in the four years after the laws came into force.
Emma Dickinson | EurekAlert!
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