Supermarket purchases of painkillers could be limited to two packs per person and restricted to over-18s as concern rises over increased rates of poisonings.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration will meet next week to consider a raft of changes to the purchase of paracetamol following recommendations from an independent report.
Some of the major changes include limiting purchases to two packs per person, reducing pack sizes, making modified-release paracetamol prescription-only, and restricting over-the-counter sales to over-18s.
There were 3575 cases of intentional paracetamol poisoning reported last year to the NSW Poisons Information Centre.
Victoria’s service recorded 3403 overdoses with 1417 of them reported as deliberate.
Intentional paracetamol overdose is highest among adolescents and young adults, and more common among females, the TGA panel found.
Survival rates from paracetamol overdose are excellent, but only where medical treatment is sought within 2-6 hours after ingestion.
If treatment is delayed after ingesting high doses of paracetamol, there is a risk of serious liver injury, and sometimes death.
The proposed restrictions are designed to prevent stockpiling of paracetamol in homes and limit access to stronger formulations.
Extracted from The Australian