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Paracetamol recall: a natural experiment influencing analgesic poisoning

Corrine R Balit, Geoffrey K Isbister, Andrew H Dawson and Ian M Whyte
Med J Aust 2002; 176 (11): 561-563.
Published online: 3 June 2002

To the Editor: A potentially important, if somewhat crude, means of suicide prevention involves restricting the availability of commonly used methods. In 1967, for example, restrictions on barbiturate prescribing in Australia led to declines in its use for suicide and in overall suicides.1 A crucial concern with this approach is that distressed individuals might use alternative, more lethal, methods. In Britain, there is just such a concern in relation to recent legislation restricting the availability of paracetamol.2

  • Corrine R Balit
  • Geoffrey K Isbister
  • Andrew H Dawson
  • Ian M Whyte

  • 1 NSW Poisons Information Centre, The Children's Hospital, Westmead, NSW.
  • 2 Department of Clinical Toxicology and Pharmacology, Newcastle Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Newcastle, NSW.

Correspondence: d.j.gunnell@bristol.ac.uk

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