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Gyu Hyun Bae 1 Article
Continuous Control of Acetaminophen Poisoning after Implementation of Regulation for Ease Access of Acetaminophen: Cohort Study from Emergency Department Based in-depth Injury Surveillance
Seung Jik Jo, Hyun Young Gang, Si Jin Lee, Gyu Hyun Bae, Eui Jung Lee, Kap Su Han, Su Jin Kim, Sung Woo Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2020;18(2):57-65.   Published online December 31, 2020
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Purpose: Since 2012, acetaminophen can be accessed easily not only at pharmacies but also at convenience stores. The relationship between the easy access of acetaminophen and the risk of poisoning has been controversial. Several studies also reported different results regarding the risk of acetaminophen poisoning after access to acetaminophen was relaxed. This study examined the long-term effects on the risk of acetaminophen poisoning after easy access to acetaminophen was implemented. Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of an emergency department (ED)-based in-depth Injury Surveillance Cohort by the Korea Center for Disease Control and prevention from 2011 to 2018. Poisoning cases were selected from the Cohort, and the incidence of acetaminophen poisoning and the characteristics of the cases of acetaminophen poisoning were analyzed. The purchase path and the amount of ingestion in acetaminophen poisoning were sub-analyzed from data of six EDs. Results: Of 57,326 poisoning cases, 4.0% (2,272 cases) were acetaminophen poisoning. Of 2,272 cases of acetaminophen poisoning, 42.8% (974 cases) required in-patient care after ED management. Two hundred and sixty-four of these 964 cases required intensive care. The rates of cases that required in-patient treatment and the rates of cases that required intensive care increased from 29.4% in 2011 to 48.1% in 2018, and from 3.1% in 2011 to 15.2% in 2018, respectively (p<0.001, p<0.001). In the poisoning group with in-depth toxic surveillance (n=15,908), the incidence and proportion of acetaminophen (AAP) poisoning increased from 55 cases per year to 187 cases per year and 4.9% to 6.1%, respectively (p=0.009, p<0.001, respectively). The most common age group of acetaminophen poisoning was teenagers, which is different from the most common age group of other pharmaceutical agents: the middle age group of 40-49 years (p<0.001). Of 15,908 in-depth toxic surveillance patients, 693 patients had AAP poisoning, of whom 377 cases (54.2%) purchased acetaminophen from a non-pharmacy. The proportions of the purchase path from non-pharmacy were 41.4% at 2011-12 and 56.4% (2013-18) (p=0.004). The amount of acetaminophen ingestion was 13.5±14.3 g at 2011-12 and 13.9±15.1 g at 2013-18 (p=0.794). Conclusion: Although the incidence of acetaminophen poisoning did not increase remarkably in the short term after the implementation of the new regulation, the incidence of acetaminophen poisoning has increased slightly during the study period of 2017-18. In addition, the proportion of the purchase path from non-pharmacies has increased since the emergence of new regulations for the easy access of acetaminophen in 2012. The incidence of acetaminophen poisoning might have been affected after the increasing accessibility of acetaminophen in convenience stores. Continuous control of acetaminophen poisoning is required. Furthermore, the prevention of acetaminophen poisoning should be focused on teenagers with specialized school education programs.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Analysis of 2011-2020 intentional drug poisoning in children and adolescents
    Jin Seok Park, Jin Seong Cho, Jae-Hyug Woo, Jae Ho Jang, Woo Sung Choi, Yong Su Lim, Jea Yeon Choi
    Pediatric Emergency Medicine Journal.2023; 10(4): 132.     CrossRef

JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology