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BET 1: In paracetamol overdose, is oral N-acetylcysteine as effective as intravenous N-acetylcysteine?
  1. Kathryn Woodhead,
  2. Bernard A Foex
  1. University of Manchester and Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Bernard A Foex, University of Manchester and Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester M13 9WL, UK; bernard.foex{at}


A short-cut review was carried out to establish whether oral N-acetylcysteine is as effective as intravenous N-acetylcysteine in the management of paracetamol overdose. Seven studies were directly relevant to the question. The author, year and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes, results and study weaknesses of these papers are tabulated. The clinical bottom line is that oral N-acetylcysteine is a safe alternative in patients for whom the intravenous route is not an option.

  • Emergency Care Systems

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.