To reduce the harm of intentional overdose, The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has reduced the maximum size of paracetamol packs.
The regulator says each year, 225 Australians are hospitalised and 50 die due to paracetamol overdose.
From February 1, 2025, paracetamol packs available from supermarkets and convenience stores will shrink from offering 20 tablets or capsules to 16 tablets while those available from pharmacies without the supervision of a pharmacist will reduce from 100 to 50 tablets.
Packs that offer up to 100 tablets, for those that require it, will only be available under the supervision of a pharmacist (‘Pharmacy Only’ packs).
The tablets available for general use will be required to be in blister packaging while the maximum size of Pharmacy Only packs of individually wrapped powders or sachets of granules containing paracetamol will also be reduced in line with tablet and capsule packs.
This decision does not affect access to liquid, modified-release and Schedule 4 or Prescription Only paracetamol.
The TGA has also recommended consumers not stockpile paracetamol at home and that supermarkets limit sales to a single pack at a time.