File photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

More cases of paracetamol poisoning in Sweden

The number of people suffering from paracetamol poisoning in Sweden is continue to grow.

One of the most common pain-killers, it is available without prescription in this country, but can only be bought from pharmacies or behind-the-counter displays in supermarkets and convenience stores.

Newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reports that a total of 1161 people in Sweden were reported taking too much of the drug, either deliberately or by accident. That is almost twice the figure in 2009, when the government changed scrapped the state pharmacy monopoly and allowed ordinary stores to non-prescription drugs, under supervision.

Paracetamol can cause liver damage if too much is taken, and it can take a while before symptoms appear. It can be fatal.

Despite its limited availability in Sweden compared to some other countries, Dr Mark Personne from the Swedish Poisons Information Centre says more should be done to limit how much paracetamol can be sold.

Speaking to Swedish Radio News, he says: "We could review its availability, and that could mean package sizes, in what form it is sold, and which strengths are available."

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