Estimates of acetaminophen (paracetomal)-associated overdoses in the United States
Article first published online: 18 NOV 2005
Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Volume 15, Issue 6, pages 398–405, June 2006
How to Cite
Nourjah, P., Ahmad, S. R., Karwoski, C. and Willy, M. (2006), Estimates of acetaminophen (paracetomal)-associated overdoses in the United States. Pharmacoepidem. Drug Safe., 15: 398–405. doi: 10.1002/pds.1191
- Issue published online: 1 JUN 2006
- Article first published online: 18 NOV 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 11 MAR 2005
- Manuscript Revised: 25 FEB 2005
- Manuscript Received: 5 OCT 2004
To estimate the number of acetaminophen-associated overdoses in the United States and identify possible risk factors for intervention.
The investigators obtained estimates of acetaminophen-associated overdoses using different national databases. Two emergency room databases, a hospital discharge database, a national mortality file, and a poison surveillance database were used to identify cases. The FDA's spontaneous reporting system was searched to identify possible root causes for overdoses.
Analysis of national databases show that acetaminophen-associated overdoses account for about 56 000 emergency room visits and 26 000 hospitalizations yearly. Analysis of national mortality files shows 458 deaths occur each year from acetaminophen-associated overdoses; 100 of these are unintentional. The poison surveillance database showed near-doubling in the number of fatalities associated with acetaminophen from 98 in 1997 to 173 in 2001. AERS data describe a number of possible causes for unintentional acetaminophen-associated overdoses.
Each year a substantial numbers of Americans experience intentional and unintentional acetaminophen-associated overdoses that, in severe cases, lead to serious illness and possible death. This summary of a series of analyses highlights the need for strategies to reduce this public health burden. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.