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To think current painkiller law doesn't work

(134 Posts)
Soubriquet Mon 23-Oct-17 14:47:56

I'm on a lot of pain killers and have been advised to pair it with ibuprofen and paracetamol when severe.

However I can't buy 2 packs of each in one transaction. I can however pop to the next shop and buy 2 more and again and again

I know they are trying to stop overdosing but surely if you can go shop to shop buying them, Aibu to think this law doesn't really work?

juneybean Mon 23-Oct-17 14:49:30

I've always thought it was a bit daft as surely if I wanted to use them to that extent I could just go back around the shop and use a different cashier?

RuskBaby Mon 23-Oct-17 14:50:11

It doesn’t work like you say but to save yourself the hassle if you go into a pharmacy they will sell large boxes of both (more expensive)

Ceto Mon 23-Oct-17 14:50:43

I suppose the idea is that it discourages people and makes them think twice. I agree it can be problematic: an office colleague was once on a charity run to a hospital in a third world country and wanted to take supplies of paracetamol, and to get a decent supply she had to mobilise the entire office to wander up and down the High Street buying their quota at every chemist's and supermarket.

LoverOfCake Mon 23-Oct-17 14:52:59

The law is there to discourage people not to prevent overdosing.

The reality is that if someone wants badly enough to kill themselves by means of an overdose they'll find a way to do so.

FadedRed Mon 23-Oct-17 14:53:35

A pharmacy will sell you larger amounts of ibuprofen. Then you would be able to buy 36 paracetamol OTC without prescription.
You could ask your GP for a prescription for larger amounts of paracetamol, as you are taking it on medical advice.

OlennasWimple Mon 23-Oct-17 14:56:56

It is a silly law (though I'd be interested in any data that suggests that it is effective before suggesting that it should be scrapped)

My dad and I were once prevented from each buying a pack of painkillers in a supermarket. We had put all our shopping together, but were then told they couldn't sell us both a 16 pack of paracetamol. So I took my pack and a couple other items and put them on the conveyor belt behind and said I'd pay for them separately. Still refused confused

I love being able to buy pots of 1000 ibruprofen in the US!

WrittenandGrown Mon 23-Oct-17 14:57:05

I think at the time of introduction of the buying limits it's did reduce deaths. www.nhs.uk/news/medication/smaller-paracetamol-packs-may-have-reduced-deaths/
Sorry I couldn't find a more recent link.

I too need regular paracetamol and find it hardwork to keep buying them. I buy them in every shop even if I don't need any at that point.

Etymology23 Mon 23-Oct-17 15:00:51

You can buy 64 paracetamol in chemists. We just buy some any time anyone goes into a shop that sells them. I usually ask for "as much paracetamol as you can sell me please!" <Big smile> "the doc has said I need to take it regularly for x." Still annoying though!

FresasAndFrambuesas Mon 23-Oct-17 15:01:50

I can't put my hand on a link right now but the evidence suggests it reduced deaths, particularly thought to be in impulsive overdoses, because it forces the person into time to think. So yabu because the balance is between minor inconvenience for some people, vs saving someone's life.

Almostfifty Mon 23-Oct-17 15:02:07

It did become law to reduce overdoses.

I find it bizarre that in the USA you can buy packs of 500 paracetamol, whereas we are limited to 32 at a time .

Mind, you can buy bullets like packs of sweets there too.

helly29 Mon 23-Oct-17 15:04:38

I agree it might not prevent someone who is determined to overdose, but many deliberate overdoses are impulsive. If you've only got a small number in the house because that's what you've got in for headaches etc, there's less chance you'll go too far. (I have no evidence to confirm this, but it seems to make sense to me after several years of seeing people post od on medical wards)

poppl Mon 23-Oct-17 15:07:02

Oh it’s such bollocks.

I live overseas so I stock up. Well, I try to - usually involves several trips to the supermarket.

Birdsgottafly Mon 23-Oct-17 15:11:08

I was housebound and had to get home deliveries, being on benefits, to spend £40+, that meant ten days worth, but I couldn't buy all of the painkillers that I needed. The Nurse, who visited me at home,quite rightly wouldn't prescribe them (which would have meant that I could have got them delivered by the chemist).

Luckily, I had someone who could get them, but not everyone does and I needed easy swallow ones which aren't sold everywhere, so often had to go without.

Quickly reading through the research, it is inconclusive if the restriction has made a difference.

I think that needs looking at again, tbh.

kaytee87 Mon 23-Oct-17 15:15:23

I can’t seem to even be able to buy one pack of paracetamol and one pack of ibuprofen in my local Morrisons or Aldi, crazy

notnowthough Mon 23-Oct-17 15:20:53

YANBU. It's bloody infuriating if you live in the middle of nowhere, have a family full of cold AND an actual injury. We end up with far more paracetamol in the house than we otherwise would have because it's so time consuming to stock up when we actually need it.

whiskyowl Mon 23-Oct-17 15:24:31

I know what you mean - I had years of that doubling up, and understand the frustration you mean. I used to buy painkillers obsessively, whenever I was in any shop that sold them!

However, I think it's a weighing and balancing of harms. If it saves ONE life to have that bit of a delay between two or three shops, for someone to go outside, feel the breeze on their face, see a bird in the sky any maybe think life isn't all that bad after all, then it's worth the inconvenience for the rest of us.

lljkk Mon 23-Oct-17 15:25:16

I agree with OP, it's ridiculous. I buy bottles of 200 when I go to USA.
All the publicity just reminds people that it's an convenient way to commit suicide. Why not publicise : "Take strictly as directed because Overdosing on this will destroy your kidney and lead to a very painful death that lasts for 3 days of agony" ? rather than mention "suicide"?

Is overdosing on ibuprofen such a problem... destroys stomach lining commonly?

poppl Mon 23-Oct-17 15:33:54

I fail to see the danger in overdosing when I’m trying to buy fecking calpol.

steff13 Mon 23-Oct-17 15:36:37

I find it bizarre that in the USA you can buy packs of 500 paracetamol, whereas we are limited to 32 at a time.

I bought a bottle of 1000 ibuprofen at Target last week. I didn't realize you all had limits like that.

Lunde Mon 23-Oct-17 15:38:33

If this is a recommendation from your doctor then you can ask for a prescription for a large number

GetSchwifty Mon 23-Oct-17 15:38:57

Should there be any kind of limit, if so what would be reasonable?

Becles Mon 23-Oct-17 15:39:29

Sorry for the below, but I think this needs saying over and over and over again because clearly people dot get it.

IT. HAS. BEEN. PROVEN. THAT. THE. INTRODUCTION. OF. A. MAX. NUMBER. OF. TABLETS. CAUSED. A. DRAMATIC. FALL. IN. THE. USE. OF. SUCH. DRUGS. IN. SUICIDES.

ACTUAL EVIDENCE OF BEFORE / AFTER SHOWS LESS PEOPLE ARE KILLING THEMSELVES THIS WAY. LESS MEANING THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE STILL ALIVE.

As you were ranting about paternalistic medication laws, but sounding like some Americans at the thought of gun control. I won't use the medicines to kill myself, so the law should be designed forpeople like me and not to minimise harm as far as possible.

whiskyowl Mon 23-Oct-17 15:40:22

I had no idea the evidence was so strong becles. Thanks for posting that. Totally agree.

SpaghettiAndMeatballs Mon 23-Oct-17 15:42:05

Just go to a chemist - they can sell you the bigger packs.

www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/10/31/pack-size-legislation

The legislation worked as well as can be expected for something so easily circumvented by the determined.

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