Paracetamol-related deaths in Scotland, 1994-2000

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2002 Oct;54(4):430-2. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2125.2002.t01-1-01671.x.


Aims: To investigate the death rate due to paracetamol poisoning in Scotland and what effect the reduction in over-the-counter paracetamol pack sizes in 1998 had on the death rate.

Methods: Records from 1994 to 2000 were examined to identify the number and annual incidence of paracetamol-related deaths. Numbers of deaths before and after the pack size reduction were compared.

Results: No significant differences were shown due to the pack size reduction. The Scottish paracetamol-related death rate was twice as high as in England and Wales.

Conclusions: Further measures to reduce paracetamol-related morbidity and mortality in Scotland should be considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / poisoning*
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / poisoning*
  • Drug Overdose / mortality
  • Drug Packaging / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Sex Distribution
  • Survival Rate


  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
  • Acetaminophen