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Theme: Paracetamol (acetaminophen) poisoning
  1. Michael Davey1,2
  1. 1Emergency Department, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia
  2. 2Division Acute Care Medicine, University of Adelaide, South Australia
  1. Correspondence to Michael Davey, Emergency Department, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia; michael.davey{at}

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Question 1

Which of the following are true regarding paracetamol?

  1. With therapeutic dosing, paracetamol peak plasma concentrations occur within 1 h.

  2. Administration of 50 g activated charcoal within 2 h of paracetamol overdose reduces mortality rates when combined with N-acetylcysteine (NAC) given within 8 h of ingestion.

  3. Activated charcoal adsorbs paracetamol but not orally administered NAC.

  4. Both paracetamol and NAC cross the placenta.

Question 2

Which of the following are true of N-acetylcysteine (NAC)?

  1. Intravenous NAC is more effective than oral NAC for paracetamol overdose.

  2. NAC initial dosing is both patient weight-based and proportional to the 4 h …

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  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.