After reading an article in the BackCare News about a man who died through taking too many paracetamol tablets, it made me really think about the amount of drugs I am currently taking.

Apparently he suffered from bad sciatica and was warned he was using too much paracetamol but as he thought the ones prescribed by his GP were too strong, he just carried on taking the paracetamol.

His brother said that he would have a drink every night with two paracetamol and then take another two later.

The post-mortem examination found a high level of paracetamol in the man’s blood and damage to his liver. The cause of death was liver failure due to paracetamol overdose.

Of course with paracetamol readily available from a number of shops, I’m sure a lot of people do not realise just how many they are allowed to take.

It was only the other day when my Dad phoned me that I found out he was taking two paracetamol AS WELL as Lemsip as he had no idea that Lemsip had paracetamol in it !

I am on the full dosage of opiates and an extra 50mg which my pain consultant has let me take to help me sleep without pain. I also take two different types of muscle relaxants and paracetamol.

My GP does do the odd blood test to keep an eye on my liver as it does fluctuate a bit. But, I must admit this article has made me rethink my drug taking as I wonder how my liver will be in say ‘ten years time’.

I think I need to sit down with either my GP or my Pain consultant and air my views on my long term us of medications.



  1. I have two friends who had to be taken into hospital with paracetamol overdoses. They both did the same thing: they had flu with a bad headache and took 2 paracetamol and went to bed; woke up later still suffering and took 2 more; woke up later still suffering and took 2 more; etc. In each case the gap between taking them was too small.

    People need reminding of this, so thanks for posting it.


  2. When I did first aid training years ago, we were taught that 12 Parcetamol tablets could be fatal (dependant on height/weight ratio, or if alchol drunk). Which is frightening, to think you can buy 2 x 16 tablets at the till of Supermarkets. It is a serious product but it does get rid of a lot of symptons.

    It is best to use Doctors prescribed drugs if pain persists.


    • Gosh I never new that mojocar only that I should not take any more than 8 a day, which I don’t. You are right about it getting rid of the symptoms, I do find it a good top up drug but I am going to try and cut down on them after reading that last article 🙂


  3. Although I think it is fairly well known that paracetamol can be dangerous if overdosed – I don’t think enough emphasis is placed on the fact that it is often a “hidden” ingredient in over counter remedies like Lemsip, this is how accidental overdose can occur as your Dad’s example demonstrates. Maybe a warning “Contains paracetamol” message should be on the front of the packs of such products.


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