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Methadone is responsible for over half of accidental drug poisoning deaths in toddlers

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 18 May 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2802
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London

Methadone causes more toddlers’ deaths by unintentional poisoning in England and Wales than any other prescription drug, research published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood shows.1

To find out which prescribed drugs are most frequently implicated in cases of unintentional fatal poisoning in young children, UK researchers analysed national data on childhood poisonings and on hospital treatment or admissions to intensive care for unintentional poisoning from 2001 to 2013. During this period 28 children aged under 4 died in England and Wales as a result of unintentional poisoning with a prescribed drug, and methadone was implicated in 57% of these cases.

From 2002 to 2012 some 201 …

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