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Hum Exp Toxicol. 1990 Jan;9(1):25-7.

Safety of late acetylcysteine treatment in paracetamol poisoning.

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  • 1Welsh National Poisons Unit, Llandough Hospital, Penarth, South Glamorgan, UK.


Twenty patients who had taken overdoses of paracetamol were treated with acetylcysteine between 12 and 24 hours after the incident. Although 19 patients had plasma paracetamol concentrations greater than those associated with a 90% risk of moderate to severe liver damage, this complication occurred in only seven (35%) individuals. No patient developed hepatic encephalopathy or acute renal failure and all recovered without sequelae. We conclude that acetylcysteine administration up to 24 hours following paracetamol overdose is not dangerous and may prevent further liver damage.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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