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How safe is paracetamol?


The mild analgesic paracetamol (N-acetyl-p-aminophenol) was introduced in Britain in 1956, and is freely available without prescription. In recent years it has been suggested that paracetamol should replace aspirin in the home medicine cupboard1 and it has been intensively promoted to the public as the ‘safe’ or ‘safer’ analgesic.2 Sales of paracetamol are rivalling those of aspirin, and it is desirable to review its efficacy and toxicity.

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