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Paracetamol: It's far more dangerous than you think (just ask the Irish)
About the author: 
WDDTY Team

Paracetamol is one of the world's most popular painkillers - and it is also far more dangerous than the millions who take it realize

Paracetamol is one of the world's most popular painkillers - and it is also far more dangerous than the millions who take it realize. It kills around 450 people in the USA and around 120 in the UK every year.

The American drug regulator, the Food and Drug Administration, is so concerned that it is considering restricting the drug's availability, an action that has already been taken in Ireland. There, it is illegal to buy more than 24 tablets, or 500 mg, in a single transaction. Despite this, it was responsible for nearly a third of all the 7,933 drug overdoses recorded in Ireland in 2004.

The drug can become dangerous at even relatively low dosages, and can cause serious - and sometimes fatal - liver damage.

(Source: The Lancet, 2007; 369: 1346).

E-news broadcast 3 May 2007 No.356

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