United Kingdom. Acetylsalicylic acid and paracetamol have been subjected to prescription control, with exemptions to allow nonprescription sales in limited quantities. The changes will take effect on 16 September 1998 in order to allow stocks of existing packs to be cleared.
Pharmacies will be required not to sell more than 100 tablets or capsules of either acetylsalicylic acid or paracetamol at any one time. Exemptions apply only to tablets and capsules in packs of 32 or less and the following forms/strengths:
. acetylsalicylic acid: maximum strength 325 mg
. paracetamol: 120 mg for children aged under 12 years and 500 mg for adults and children aged 12 years and over.
In both cases, the new restrictions will apply only to non-effervescent tablets and capsules. A blanket exemption from prescription control will cover all other presentations.
For general sale (e.g. supermarkets), new maximum pack sizes of 16 are being introduced for non-effervescent tablets and capsules (reduced from 25) and a maximum pack size of 160 ml for liquid preparations of paracetamol for persons aged 12 and over with a maximum strength of 2.5%, and a maximum pack size of 20 doses of no more than 5 ml for preparations intended for children under 12 years old with a maximum strength of 2.4% (maximum dose 480 mg and maximum daily dose 1,920 mg).
[See also p.00 below and Pharmaceuticals Newsletter Nos. 3&4, March & April 1997]
Reference: The Pharmaceutical Journal Vol. 257, p. 785, 13 September 1997.