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Experts look at young woman's death as they consider restrictions on sale of paracetamol

Over-the-counter sales of New Zealand's most popular pain killer could soon be restricted.

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Medical experts are evaluating a proposal to limit the amount of the drug we can buy at supermarkets and chemists. Source: 1 NEWS

Medical experts have spent the day evaluating a case to limit how much paracetamol we can buy at supermarkets and chemists.

A coroner is calling for change following the death of a young student from liver damage caused by too much paracetamol.

Alannah Spankie was just 20 when she died of acute liver failure three-years-ago.

The Otago University student's father is now warning others of the risk.

"Over use is misunderstood. By the time you realise it's a problem it's too late," Mark Spankie says.

After the inquest, the coroner recommended restricting over-the-counter sales of our most widely used drug.

The Royal College of GPs are endorsing change, in an attempt to ensure adults stick to the prescribed dose of two tablets four times a day.

“It's a very safe drug, a very effective drug. However if you go above those eight tablets a day very quickly it can become toxic to the liver and that's an issue,” RNZCGP medical director Dr Bryan Betty.

Countdown is already restricting paracetamol sales in line with the proposed restrictions that will limit purchases of 500 milligram doses to just 16 tablets at supermarkets, 32 tablets across the counter at pharmacies and up to 100 pills on prescription.

The Health Ministry says there'll be no decision today from the expert group with the final say - the medicines classification committee.

A closer inspection of the coroner's report and other submissions will shape the decision making process moving forward.