For decades animals have been deliberately poisoned to death in lethal dose (LD50) toxicity tests, yet the results are of little value in the prevention and treatment of overdose patients and can be misleading.(1) According to their lethal doses in rats, aspirin would seem safer than another common pain killing drug, ibuprofen. In fact, human overdose experience reveals that ibuprofen is the safer drug.(1) As physicians at London's National Poisons Centre point out, "The 'natural experiment' of cases of self poisoning has to be taken as the starting point as the results of experiments on animals cannot reliably be extrapolated to man..."(2)
1) G.N.Volans in The Contribution of Acute Toxicity Tests to the Evaluation of Pharmaceuticals, Eds.D.Schuppan et al (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1986).
2) S.Cassidy & J.Henry, British Medical Journal, 1987, October 24, 1021-1024.
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