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Journal Article


Jung KY, Kim T, Hwang SY, Yoon H, Shin TG, Sim MS, Jo IJ, Cha WC. Pharmacoepidemiol. Drug Saf. 2019; 28(4): 536-543.


Department of Emergency Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.


(Copyright © 2019, John Wiley and Sons)






PURPOSE: In late 2012, South Korea revised the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act to make selected medications including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and cold medications available in nonpharmacy outlets, including the 24-hour convenient stores (CVS). The objective of this study was to identify whether the characteristics and trend of self-poisonings associated with these medications were altered after the legislative change.

METHODS: A retrospective study was performed using national data from the Emergency Department (ED)-based Injury In-depth Surveillance database. The patients diagnosed with poisoning were sorted from 2011 to 2016 and included in the study. As the Act was implemented from 2013, the demographic characteristics and clinical outcomes were compared before and after January 2013. A piecewise regression analysis was performed to determine the association between the monthly use of acetaminophen, medication for cold, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and the incidence of total poisonings before and after the January 2013.

RESULTS: Among 1 536 277 patients included in the database, 17 523 patients diagnosed with poisoning were enrolled. After the legislative change, the etiology of poisoning did not change, although the frequency of hospitalization from ED was significantly increased. The monthly trend for poisoning due to acetaminophen, cold medications, and NSAIDs showed no significant slope change between before and after the legislative change. The proportional use of acetaminophen and cold medications was significantly decreased, while that of NSAIDs was unchanged before and after the legislative change.

CONCLUSIONS: The change in the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act was not associated with any change in the monthly frequency of medication-related poisoning.

© 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Language: en


medication availability; over-the-counter; pharmacoepidemiology; poisoning; retrospective study


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