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Scand J Gastroenterol. 1987 Aug;22(6):701-4.

Paracetamol medication and alcohol abuse: a dangerous combination for the liver and the kidney.

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Dept. of Medicine, Ostra Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.


The clinical pattern of paracetamol-induced acute liver damage was studied with regard to whether the intoxication was acute or due to continuous use. This condition was found to be caused almost as often by accidental chronic medication as by acute intoxication, with annual incidences per 100,000 of 0.8 and 1.2 cases, respectively. The liver damage found in 18% of the cases of acute intoxication was generally mild, probably due to an early antidote treatment. In contrast, in the chronic intoxicated cases the liver damage was more pronounced and often accompanied by a severe renal dysfunction. Since all these patients were alcohol abusers, and the reported paracetamol intake was not remarkably high, it seems reasonable to recommend that paracetamol should be prescribed with great caution to alcoholics, and absolutely not for continuous use.

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