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Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2012 Apr;21(4):375-83. doi: 10.1002/pds.3206. Epub 2012 Feb 23.

Acetaminophen overdose in the Military Health System.

Author information

  • 1Pharmacovigilance Center, Health Policy and Services, Office of the Surgeon General, Department of the Army, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA. Lockwood.g.taylor@us.army.mil

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We report the annual trend, distribution, and determinants of acetaminophen overdose using data from the Military Health System. We also assess the proportion of individuals with an acetaminophen overdose who received a prescription for any acetaminophen-containing medication prior to their event.

METHODS:

Diagnostic International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision (ICD-9) codes from inpatient medical encounters were used to identify patients with acetaminophen overdose. We used Poisson regression to estimate adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) for associations between selected socio-demographic characteristics and acetaminophen overdose. Pharmacy records for individuals with an acetaminophen overdose were obtained to evaluate the proportion who received a prescription for any acetaminophen-containing medication prior to their overdose.

RESULTS:

Annual age-adjusted and sex-adjusted prevalence of acetaminophen overdose increased by 38.5% from 2004 to 2008. Acetaminophen overdose was significantly more common in female subjects than in male subjects (aPR = 3.24, 95%CI = 2.97-3.55). Individuals aged 15-17 and 18-24 also were significantly more likely to have an overdose compared with those aged 45-64 (aPR = 6.06, 95%CI = 5.25-7.00 and aPR = 4.58, 95%CI = 4.01-5.23, respectively). Among active duty service members, acetaminophen overdose was six times more common in junior enlisted service members than in officers (aPR = 6.06, 95%CI = 3.90-9.40). The proportion of individuals with an inpatient overdose who had any prescription for an acetaminophen-containing medication in the 365, 30, and 7 days before the overdose was 53.3%, 23.7%, and 16.3%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

Identification of at-risk populations will aid the military in ongoing efforts to decrease medication misuse. Findings suggest a potential need for improved labeling of over-the-counter medications and medication safety education efforts for unintentional acetaminophen overdose and continued efforts to identify individuals at risk for intentional overdose. Published 2012. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

Published 2012. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

PMID:
22362462
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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