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  1. Docta
    A young mother in England was hallucinating and forgetful before she died of an overdose of cold and flu medicine earlier this year.

    Donna Bishop, 25, took a daily cocktail of assorted over-the-counter drugs, cough syrups and Lemsip before she died of a liver failure caused by a paracetamol overdose, the Worchester News reports.

    The inquest at Worcestershire Coroner's Court heard Ms Bishop was taking high amounts of non-prescription medicine after falling ill two weeks before her death.

    The mother-of-one was then diagnosed with a chest infection on New Years' Eve, five days before she died, and given antibiotics by her doctor.

    Her health deteriorated rapidly after she continued to consume her various drugs and she went to hospital on January 2 complaining of mouth ulcers and having trouble swallowing.

    Ms Bishop was given a throat spray and co-codamol and sent home. The following morning, she had developed a cyst in her mouth and her urine had become red.

    Her sister, Kerrie Bishop who visited her found her with a yellow jaundiced complexion and told the inquest she was unsteady on her feet.

    Ms Bishop was readmitted to hospital on January 4 where nurses reported her being restless and having hallucinations before she died later that day.

    The two-day inquest continues

    MSN 07:30 AEST Thu Sep 29 2011


  1. trdofbeingtrd
    Re: Woman dies from cold medicine overdose

    People don't recognize just how dangerous over the counter medication can be because it has acetaminophen in it and can kill if taken to much. When you don't know for sure exactly what is in medications that you can get over the counter/right in an isle then it can be easy to overdose on something. Also, because doctors and or pharmacists don't give information or advice when you can go to an isle, buy something and leave the store, there are not reasons or people to take the medication as they want.

    In other words, although it says on the box how much of what is in the medication, how much to take, how often to take it, and how long it's okay to take it, it is easy for people to just take what they want because it's not "controlled" or needing a prescription to buy.

    I have personally known a decent amount of people who have just took what they wanted in regards to over the counter medication and to me it seemed dangerous so I would say something, they didn't really care though, after all, it's over the counter, how bad can it be?
  2. Phenoxide
    Re: Woman dies from cold medicine overdose

    I find that absolutely shocking. Any competent medical staff would check what the patient had already taken before prescribing anything. It's one of the standard questions they're supposed to ask. If she'd really taken an unusually high dose of paracetamol through cumulative consumption then they should've picked up on this. It's incredible that someone reported to accident and emergency with paracetamol poisoning only to be given medication containing yet more paracetamol and sent on their way.

    The family have good grounds for legal action against the NHS trust in my opinion. Not that a lawsuit could ever compensate for the fact that there is a child without a mother. Sad.

    She may well have been taking the medications as recommended on the box. The biggest risk (and one that the article alludes to) is that when ill people often take multiple products, all of which may contain paracetamol. They may dutifully follow the instructions on each box without considering that by combining multiple medications the effective dose they are taking is far higher. This has become a big problem given how ubiquitous paracetamol is in over-the-counter medications these days.
  3. Docta
    Re: Woman dies from cold medicine overdose

    Yes an absolute appalling level of patient mismanagement by medical staff and hard to believe if it were not true.

    I also posted the article to highlight the importance of removing acetaminophen/paracetamol from other medications where overindulgence could lead to toxicity.
    eg, cold water extraction
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