These 3 medications cause the highest deaths in the UK, check whether you have them at home

A study has shown that these common medicines can kill you if you take too much of them. Here's everything you need to know.

3 medications cause the highest deaths in the UK
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3 medications cause the highest deaths in the UK

A study by Abbeycare Foundation, a group that provides private addiction treatment, has revealed the top prescribed medications that have been linked to fatalities in the UK.

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The Office for National Statistics states that 4,859 deaths related to drug poisoning were registered in 2021 in England and Wales. This is 6.2% higher than the rate recorded the previous year. Gender also comes into this: the research showed that twice as many men suffered drug poisoning deaths compared to women.

3 dangerous medications to look out for

Antidepressants can cause toxicity

According to the study, these are the drugs that cause the highest deaths. Specifically, they reference selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors - SRRIs - that are a widely prescribed type of antidepressant.

This medication is distributed to many patients because it can also be used to treat anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder,Express reports. While it is safe to use when taken as instructed, it can lead to toxicity. So, how would you know if you had taken a dangerous amount? Hallucinations, difficulty breathing and seizures are severe signs of an antidepressant overdose, according to the study.

Benzodiazepines overdoses

This medication is usually prescribed for anxiety, but because it has a sedative effect, it can also be given to people who suffer from seizures, muscle spasms or insomnia. Benzodiazepines are also sold illegally, as people take them to get ‘high’ or deal with the ‘come down’ brought on by hard drugs like amphetamines or cocaine.

An overdose of this drug can lead to confusion and poor coordination, and according to American Addiction Centers, ‘benzos’ on their own are unlikely to kill a person. However, they can be deadly when taken with other substances like opioids, alcohol or different prescription drugs. In 2021, there were 538 deaths that involved Benzodiazepines in the UK.

Paracetamol is surprisingly dangerous

When you have a sore head or period pain, it can be tempting to take these common painkillers without checking the advised dosage on the packet. However, this easily accessible medication is linked to around seven deaths per 1,000,000 people.

It can kill you when taken in too high a dosage because it can lead to liver failure. The symptoms in people who have paracetamol poisoning can include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), vomiting and unexpected bleeding.

Read more:

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Sources used:

Office for National Statistics: Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales: 2021 registrations

Express: Three of the most deadly medications you probably have at home, according to new study

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