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Home > Pack-size legislation reduces severity of paracetamol overdoses in Ireland.

Donohoe, E and Walsh, N. and Tracey, JA (2006) Pack-size legislation reduces severity of paracetamol overdoses in Ireland. Irish Journal of Medical Science , 175 , (3) , pp. 40-42.

BACKGROUND: Legislation was introduced in Ireland in October 2001 to control the sale of paracetamol in non-pharmacy outlets. Preparations are now limited to 12 tablets per pack and only one pack can be sold per transaction.
AIM: To assess the impact of this legislation on acute deliberate paracetamol overdoses.
METHODS: We reviewed acute deliberate paracetamol overdoses reported during two 24-months periods before and after October 2001. We grouped cases according to the number of tablets taken and compared the periods using chi-square and Mann-Whitney tests.
RESULTS: The number of tablets taken in acute deliberate paracetamol overdose fell significantly after October 2001 (chi2 = 11.663, P = 0.0029). Fewer cases involved 12-24 tablets (U = 74, P < 0.001) and fewer cases involved more than 24 tablets (U = 131.5, P = 0.0006).
CONCLUSION: Legislation controlling sale and packaging of paracetamol preparations appears to be associated with a significant fall in the number of tablets taken in acute deliberate paracetamol overdoses.


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