Year: 2001 Source: BMJ, v.322, no.7296, (May 19, 2001), p.1203-1207 SIEC No: 20010432

The objective of this stdy was to evaluate the effects on suicidal behaviour of legislation limiting the size of packs of paracetamol & salicylates sold over the counter. A before & after study was done with data collected from 5 liver units & 7 general hospitals between September 1996-September 1999. The numbers of tablets per pack of paracetamol & salicylates decreased markedly in the year after the change in legislation in September 1998. The annual number of deaths from paracetamol poisoning decreased by 21% & the number of deaths from salicylates decreased by 48%. It is concluded the legislation restricting pack sizes of paracetamol & salicylates in the United Kingdom has had substantial beneficial effects on mortality & morbidity associated with self poisoning using these drugs. (15 refs.)