Paracetamol overdose

Last updated: Tuesday, 21, December, 2010
PresentationsAppropriate Tests

Paracetamol - serum.

Time since ingestion must be known to assess significance of levels - see Figure 2

Final assessment of likely drug toxicity should not be made while the patient is still in the absorptive phase (ie, while levels are still increasing).

Once absorption is complete, a second level, taken 3-4 hours after the first, enables half-life to be calculated. If increased, this is another indicator of toxicity.

Hepatotoxicity 

ALT, AST, LD, bilirubin, glucose, ammonium; PT.

See also Overdose, drug

Nephrotoxicity 

Urea, creatinine; protein - urine.

See Hepatic failure

Metabolic acidosis 

Organic acids (pyroglutamate).

See Acidosis