Therapeutic doses of paracetamol 'can cause liver injury' in heavy drinkers

Toxicity can also occur with sustained use of the analgesic if the person isn't eating well, researchers warn

Therapeutic levels of paracetamol can be as dangerous as an overdose if patients are heavy drinkers or have been fasting, a study suggests.

Liver injury from therapeutic doses of paracetamol is poorly understood, with little research published since a 1995 review of case studies, according to gastroenterologists from the University Hospital of Lille in France.

Their prospective study, published in Hepatology, looked at 400 cases of paracetamol-related liver injury treated at the hospital’s intensive care unit over 18 years.

Some 311 cases were classed as accidental