Intended for healthcare professionals


Paracetamol causes most liver failure in UK and US

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 13 April 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:882

In this News article by Janice Tanne, published only on, we mixed up our references and missed the key point, and these errors were compounded by an ambiguous title (, 18 Mar 2006, News extra, doi:10.1136/bmj.332.7542.628-a). We should have said that paracetamol (acetaminophen) overdose is a leading cause of acute liver failure in the United Kingdom and the United States. In the UK, though, most patients who get acute liver failure do so after intentional overdose whereas in the US nearly half of patients who get acute liver failure do so after unintentional overdose. And Robert Fontana describes himself as coauthor, not lead author. The studies reported in Hepatology (2005;42: 1364-72) Gastroenterology (2006;130: 687-94) were set in the US.

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