Is modified released Paracetamol a dangerous medicine?

Date: Jun 25, 2014

Injuries caused by household products are becoming increasingly common in Australia, and researchers at Monash University believe the large pack sizes of some medicines are causing unnecessary risk to the public.

Paracetamol features in nearly all Australian medicine cabinets. However, in recent years manufacturers have decided to make more of the mild analgesic readily available by selling packs of between 96 and 100 pills.

In a paper published in the journal Emergency Medicine Australiasia?, Professor Andis Graudins called on authorities to restrict pack sizes to help witha serious problem playing out in the country's hospitals. More than 8,000 Australians are poisoned each year by Paracetamol?, with doctors seeing more than 150 patients per week.

According to Emergency Medicine Australiasia, this makes up of 20 per cent of all poisonings in Australia.

Designed to assist those who suffer from arthritis by providing significant pain relief, people are deliberately overdosing on modified releases of Paracetamol. Last year, supermarkets were banned from selling large pack of the pain relief following investigations from the Department of Health.

From September, consumers have only been able to purchase packs with more than 21 pills across the counter at pharmacies.

Professor Graudins explained if manufacturers stopped producing large packs of Paracetamol, it won't necessarily stop people overdosing. However, it would potentially reduce the severity of some of the cases seen at hospitals across Australia.

"It can kill if you take enough and you don't get the appropriate medical treatment," Professor Graudins told

An overdose from Paracetamol can cause liver inflammation and failure after just eight hours, and it is imperative patients seek urgent medical attention.

This highlights the importance of people taking the prescribed medication dose and following the manufacturer guidelines. Having smaller packets of Paracetamol would certainly reduce the number of people overdosing.

Product liability in NSW

If you follow the instructions on the back of the packet, but you are injured by any product, regardless of whether it has been modified or not, you could be eligible for compensation.

Injuries from products are more common than most people think so if you believe you have a case, contact a compensation lawyer at Gerard Malouf & Partners.

These lawyers operate on a no win no fee basis so they can advise you on your chances of success free of charge – if they think you have a case, it's completely up to you whether you engage their services.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.