The question of how many pills do you take to overdose is always a very complex one, because there are different levels of different drugs that would constitute an overdose. Generally speaking, taking twice the amount prescribed is enough to be considered an overdose, although in the case of most drugs, this wouldn’t be lethal. For a lethal overdose, there really aren’t any certain tried and true formulas that would make it easy to calculate.
With some over the counter medications, it’s possible to have a lethal overdose situation with even the most seemingly-innocuous of drugs, such as aspirin. A medium-sized person would need to take upwards of 100 tablets without vomiting, and the process is very slow. It’s also possible to overdose on the most controlled substances, of course, and lethal narcotic overdoses are very common. They are rarely quick, where the body is left in a state of near paralysis, with uncontrolled shaking and nausea that can go on for hours. Liver failure for many drug overdoses is possible, and this is another situation which can be extremely slow and drawn out.
For all the drugs in-between, the the number of pills will certainly vary by drug and by dosages. It also varies by body weight, and a number of other factors. If combining with other drugs or alcohol, then it gets even more complex. Chemicals react to each other, because that’s how they’re designed to work, and there are combination that are extremely volatile. It would take a pharmacologist’s advice to determine how specific chemicals react with each other, but it’s important to understand that no combination is safe unless a doctor prescribes it.
If an overdose situation is suspected, call poison control or 911. With pills, the chemicals enter the bloodstream very quickly, and time is extremely precious. Besides the risks of fatality, there are also other possible long-term effects that should be taken into consideration. Damage to the liver, kidneys, central nervous system, and other vital functions are possibilities. Accidental overdoses need immediate medical treatment.
If there is any question of an intentional overdose, getting help from mental health professionals is the next indicated action. Stick to what your doctor prescribes and if you or a loved one is depressed on in trouble seek that professional help immediately.