A young woman had recently to undergo a liver transplant because she had ingested too many pain killers. Doctors now warn against excessive use of paracetamol. The young woman, who was operated at UZ Gent, had taken seven to eight one gram pills each day for two weeks against toothache. This was an overdose that her liver did not support.
“You take too high a dose. The next day you feel nauseated and the day after you have to go to the emergency room because you feel really sick,” Hans Van Vlierberghe, a doctor at UZ Gent told Flemish TV station VTM on Sunday.
“After that you may end up in coma at the intensive care unit and risk to die unless you undergo an emergency liver transplant.”
The hospital in Ghent receives one paracetamol-poisoned patient almost every month and carries out on average one liver transplant per year because of intoxication.
As paracetamol is dispensed without a prescription, doctors believe that pharmacists should provide more explanations about the recommended dosage.