Introduction

Acetaminophen (paracetamol, W-acetyl-p-aminophenol) is the most common analgesic used in the United Kingdom and is responsible for 150 deaths annually in England and Wales. This represents 3 per cent of all overdose deaths. Acetaminophen overdose is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United Kingdom, being attributable for over 50 per cent of all acute referrals to a liver failure unit. Survival rates for acetaminophen-induced fulminant hepatic failure have improved in recent years, probably as a consequence of improvements in intensive care, although the mortality still remains high (at around 20 per cent of all admissions) ( Makin et_ a/ 1995).

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