Caracterización de la ingestión por sobredosis de paracetamol. Reporte de un centro de información toxicológica chileno.
CHARACTERIZATION OF PARACETAMOL OVERDOSE. REPORT OF A POISON INFORMATION CENTER IN CHILE.
Background: Paracetamol (acetaminophen) is an analgesic and antipyretic drug widely used across the world. Its ingestion is one of the most common causes of drug overdose. In the United States is the first cause of acute hepatitis in adults. Aim: To describe the epidemiological profile of paracetamol overdose in Chile. Material and methods: Cross sectional retrospective study that included all the phone call inquiries received at the Poison Control Center of the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile (CITUC) during 2009. Results: Nine hundred fifty nine inquiries involving acute paracetamol exposures were received. Women represented a 63.1% of the cases. Half of the cases were suicide attempts, of which 74.8% were women. Accidental exposures occurred mainly in children. In 29.3% of the patients, the exposure was considered to involve a hepatotoxic dose. Women had 2.7 times the risk of men to ingest a toxic dose of paracetamol with suicidal purpose (Odds ratio (OR)=2.7; 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.1-3.6; p<0.001). Adolescents had 3.4 times the risk of the general consultants (OR: 3.4; 95% CI: 2.4–4.7; p< 0.001). Conclusions: Paracetamol overdose is common in Chile. Authorities should carry out preventive measures. Antidotes and the capacity to measure plasma levels of paracetamol should be available in healthcare centers.