BACKGROUND Paracetamol is commonly used in cases of deliberate self-poisoning. Overdoses are a major cause of liver failure in the United Kingdom. Legislation introduced in September 1998 aimed to reduce such incidents by restricting the size of over-the-counter paracetamol packaging and including specific health warnings. OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effect of legislative changes restricting ‘over the counter’ paracetamol and salicylate package sizes on self-poisoning rates. SETTING Five liver units and seven general hospitals, United Kingdom; September 1996-September 1999. METHOD Before and after observational study.
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