Poisons Information Centres provide health services and the general public across Australia with the most up-to-date advice available
The study by Huynh and colleagues1 underlines the importance of Poisons Information Centres (PICs) for mapping the epidemiology of poisoning in Australia. The authors report that more than 200 000 calls were made to the national PIC network during 2015. Most exposures were of adults under 74 (40%) or toddlers (36%). Prescription medications were more frequently implicated in exposures in adults (mainly antidepressants, sedatives and antipsychotics) than in children of any age; about half the exposures of Australians over 74 involved prescription medications. These data confirm that the substance or toxin ingested is usually the most readily available, whether household cleaners or over-the-counter medications in unintentional poisonings of children, or prescription medications in deliberate self-poisonings or medication errors in adults.