Impact of different pack sizes of paracetamol in the United Kingdom and Ireland on intentional overdoses: a comparative study

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dc.contributor.author Hawton, Keith
dc.contributor.author Bergen, Helen
dc.contributor.author Simkin, Sue
dc.contributor.author Arensman, Ella
dc.contributor.author Corcoran, Paul
dc.contributor.author Cooper, Jayne
dc.contributor.author Waters, Keith
dc.contributor.author Gunnell, David
dc.contributor.author Kapur, Navneet
dc.date.accessioned 2016-06-15T14:48:38Z
dc.date.available 2016-06-15T14:48:38Z
dc.date.issued 2011-06-10
dc.identifier.citation Hawton, K., Bergen, H., Simkin, S., Arensman, E., Corcoran, P., Cooper, J., Waters, K., Gunnell, D. and Kapur, N. (2011) 'Impact of different pack sizes of paracetamol in the United Kingdom and Ireland on intentional overdoses: a comparative study'. BMC Public Health, 11: 460. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-11-460 en
dc.identifier.volume 11 en
dc.identifier.startpage 460 (1) en
dc.identifier.endpage 460 (8) en
dc.identifier.issn 1471-2458
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/2745
dc.identifier.doi 10.1186/1471-2458-11-460
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND: In order to reduce fatal self-poisoning legislation was introduced in the UK in 1998 to restrict pack sizes of paracetamol sold in pharmacies (maximum 32 tablets) and non-pharmacy outlets (maximum 16 tablets), and in Ireland in 2001, but with smaller maximum pack sizes (24 and 12 tablets). Our aim was to determine whether this resulted in smaller overdoses of paracetamol in Ireland compared with the UK. METHODS: We used data on general hospital presentations for non-fatal self-harm for 2002-2007 from the Multicentre Study of Self-harm in England (six hospitals), and from the National Registry of Deliberate Self-harm in Ireland. We compared sizes of overdoses of paracetamol in the two settings. RESULTS: There were clear peaks in numbers of non-fatal overdoses, associated with maximum pack sizes of paracetamol in pharmacy and non-pharmacy outlets in both England and Ireland. Significantly more pack equivalents (based on maximum non-pharmacy pack sizes) were used in overdoses in Ireland (mean 2.63, 95% CI 2.57-2.69) compared with England (2.07, 95% CI 2.03-2.10). The overall size of overdoses did not differ significantly between England (median 22, interquartile range (IQR) 15-32) and Ireland (median 24, IQR 12-36). CONCLUSIONS: The difference in paracetamol pack size legislation between England and Ireland does not appear to have resulted in a major difference in sizes of overdoses. This is because more pack equivalents are taken in overdoses in Ireland, possibly reflecting differing enforcement of sales advice. Differences in access to clinical services may also be relevant. en
dc.description.sponsorship Department of Health, UK (NHS R&D Programme (DH/DSH2008)); National Institute for Health Research, UK (NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research scheme as part of NIHR programme of work related to suicide prevention (RP-PG-0606-1247)); Health Service Executive, Ireland (HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention) en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Biomed Central en
dc.rights © 2011 Hawton et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ en
dc.subject Paracetamol en
dc.subject United Kingdom en
dc.subject Ireland en
dc.subject Drug packaging en
dc.subject Pharmacies en
dc.title Impact of different pack sizes of paracetamol in the United Kingdom and Ireland on intentional overdoses: a comparative study en
dc.type Article (peer-reviewed) en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Paul Corcoran, Epidemiology & Public Health, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. +353-21-490-3000 Email: pcorcoran@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.date.updated 2014-10-24T10:40:44Z
dc.description.version Published Version en
dc.internal.rssid 229124151
dc.contributor.funder Department of Health, UK en
dc.contributor.funder National Institute for Health Research, United Kingdom en
dc.contributor.funder Health Service Executive, Ireland en
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.identifier.journaltitle BMC Public Health en
dc.internal.copyrightchecked Yes. !!CORA!! en
dc.internal.licenseacceptance Yes en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress pcorcoran@ucc.ie en
dc.identifier.articleid 460


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© 2011 Hawton et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2011 Hawton et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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