Purpose: On November 15, 2012, sales of OTC (Over-The-Counter) drugs began at convenience stores, which changed the accessibility of some drugs. As a result, the exposure and access patterns of these drugs could have changed. In this study, we reviewed the changes in the characteristics of drug poisoning patients because of the reposition of nonprescription drugs according to the revised Pharmaceutical Affairs Act. Methods: A retrospective study was conducted to evaluate changes in characteristics of drug poisoning patients between 2008 and 2016. A registry was developed by an emergency medical center in a local tertiary teaching hospital, and patients who visited the center were enrolled in this registry. We compared two periods, from 2008 to 2012 (Pre OTC) and from 2013 to 2016 (Post OTC), for type of intoxicant, time from poisoning to visiting the emergency center, intention, psychiatric history, previous suicidal attempt, alcohol status, and emergency room outcomes. The primary outcome was the number of patients who took acetaminophen and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Secondary outcomes were ICU admission rate, mortality rate, and number of patients who visited the ER when the pharmacy was closed after taking acetaminophen and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Results: Among 1,564 patients, 945 and 619 patients visited the emergency room during pre and post OTC periods. The number of patients with acetaminophen and NSAIDs poisoning decreased from 9.2% to 6.1% (p=0.016). The ICU admission rate and mortality rate in the emergency room did not show significant results in the relevant patient groups, and so was the number of patients visiting ER when the pharmacy was closed taking acetaminophen and NSAIDs. Conclusion: Despite the sales of nonprescription drugs at convenience stores, the number of acetaminophen and NSAIDs poisoning patients decreased.
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