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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 54 (2012) 6, 555 - 559

Case report

The subclinical course of a paracetamol intoxication: pitfall for patient and clinician

W.A. van Leeuwen, J.H.M. Schellens, H.E. Becker, L. de Haan, R. van Westrhenen

Summary
A 24-year-old man took 20 grams of paracetamol during a hospital stay in the department of psychiatry. It was not until 60 hours later that therapy with acetylcysteine was initiated. Paracetamol intoxication has a long latency period. If there is no intervention, severe hepatic damage can develop within three days. Even after a few days have passed it is still advisable to start treating the patient with acetylcysteine.

keywords acetylcysteine, paracetamol intoxication