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Region Hovedstaden - en del af Københavns Universitetshospital
E-pub ahead of print

Has the time come to stop routine N-acetylcysteine treatment in young children in Denmark? A review of 300 suspected paracetamol overdoses in children aged 0-6 years

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AIM: To evaluate the prevalence of potentially hepatoxic paracetamol ingestion and associated N-acetylcysteine treatment in young children suspected of paracetamol poisoning.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study of children aged 0-6 years suspected of paracetamol poisoning with a related plasma-paracetamol measurement in the Capital Region of Denmark in the period 2010-2017. Data from the clinical laboratory system were linked to data from electronic patient records via the unique identification number given to all Danish residents.

RESULTS: Of 297 children included, suspected single paracetamol overdoses were present in 281 (95%). Sixty-nine per cent were treated with N-acetylcysteine, and the mean treatment period was 20.3 h (SD 20.8). A maximum of 6 (2%) of the children suspected of single overdose had plasma-paracetamol concentrations that exceeded the recommended treatment thresholds. No cases of severe hepatotoxicity were registered. Adverse events to N-acetylcysteine-treatment were registered in 3 (2%) children including one anaphylactoid reaction (0.5%).

CONCLUSION: This study shows that initiating N-acetylcysteine as a 'one size fit all' treatment regimen in all children aged 0-6 years with a suspected single paracetamol overdose leads to substantial overtreatment. The data support that it is feasible to initiate N-acetylcysteine within 10 h based on an early plasma-paracetamol test.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftActa paediatrica
ISSN1651-2227
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 13 nov. 2021

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