Derry pharmacist’s warning on deadly paracetamol social media game

A pharmacist has warned of the deadly consequences of the online game.
A pharmacist has warned of the deadly consequences of the online game.

A Derry pharmacist has issued a warning that a new online game involving paracetamol could have deadly consequences.

Killian Johnston from H Sweeney Chemist on the Strand Road said he was deeply concerned about the game where young people dare each other to take “excessive amounts” of the painkiller on social media, and warned that paracetamol can kill.

Last year warnings were issued after the dangerous neknomination drinking challenge claimed the lives of several young people who were nominated online. And it’s been reported that a teenager in England has already been hospitalised as a result of the paracetamol challenge game.

“It’s a crazy thing to do,” said Mr Johnston. “People don’t understand that paracetamol is so dangerous. Yes, you can buy it over the counter but there is a specific way you should take it.

“It’s a maximum of two every 4-6 hours,” he said, “and no more than eight in 24 hours. Anything over eight starts having toxic implications for your liver that can kill you.”

The Derry pharmacist said taking more than eight tablets in 24 hours, or eight tablets in one go can put you in real danger.

“We live in a very medicinalised society where everyone thinks because they have paracetamol in the house it is safe.

“Parents need to get back to the way it was 20-30 years when all medicine were locked away in a medicine cabinet in the bathroom and out of reach.

“A challenge like this is like rolling the dice. What can be ok for one person could be deadly for another. Paracetamol can be very bad for the liver.”

He warned parents to keep eye on any paracetamol in the house and warned young people not to attempt the game.