- Prescribing Advice for GPs - https://www.prescriber.org.uk -

Co-proxamol withdrawal reduces suicides

The National Prescribing Centre has published a summary of a recent paper that has found a reduced rate of suicides following the withdrawal of the marketing authorisation for co-proxamol.

An analysis of the General Register Office in Scotland for the period 2000–2006 identified an average rate of deaths due to co-proxamol overdose of 37 per year between 2000 and 2005. When usage started to decline in 2006 the rate of deaths dropped to 10 per year with the difference being statistically significant. The authors conclude that if the reduced rates are mirrored across England and Wales that 300 lives per year will have been saved.

Action: Clinicians should ensure co-proxamol use is minimised in favour of licensed alternatives in light of these apparent benefits.