UK Plans To Restrict Paracetamol Sale To Reduce Suicides: Report

Ministers in the UK have pledged to reduce suicide rates in England within two and a half years.

UK government is planning to limit the availability of over-the-counter drugs containing paracetamol to reduce deaths by suicide. According to Sky News, this is part of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy unveiled recently. The document highlights how reductions in deaths by suicide have stalled since 2018. The new policy also talks about a national alert system to highlight new methods of suicide to schools and colleges across the country, the outlet further said. The last such strategy was published more than 10 years ago.

The policy says medical experts have been asked to review whether reducing the number of paracetamol people can buy in shops could help bring down suicide rates in UK.

The Telegraph said currently people can buy a maximum of two packets of medication containing paracetamol, which is typically 16 tablets of 500mg.

But the government has asked the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to consider a further clampdown.

Ministers in the UK have pledged to reduce suicide rates in England within two and a half years.

A 2018 study published by Cambridge University Press said that paracetamol is the most common drug used for self-poisoning in the UK and is associated with fatal liver damage.

The study was based on analysis of the data of 80 patients in hospitals using a structured interview schedule, measures of depression and suicidal intent, information collected through the Oxford Monitoring System for Attempted Suicide, along with the results of liver function tests.

National Health Service (NHS) said more than 5,000 people die by suicide each year, adding that it receives 200,000 calls to crisis lines each month.

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