1st November 2017

After significant consideration and consultation on the effects of medicines containing codeine on people’s health and wellbeing, in December 2016, Australia’s medicine’s regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), has decided that products containing codeine will not be able to be sold over the counter in pharmacies, making such products available on prescription only.

This change does not come into place until 1 February 2018 so there will be no change to the availability of products occurring now or in 2017.
The change in scheduling of products containing codeine from OTC (over-the counter Schedule 2/3) medicines to Schedule 4 prescription medicines will mean that people who wish to use painkiller medicines containing codeine will have to obtain a prescription from their GP or health care provider or use an alternative OTC product such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or a combination of these drugs. There are also a number of alternative OTC cough and cold medicines that do not contain codeine.
Many Australians are not aware of the potential risks associated with using over-the-counter codeine medications to treat chronic pain. Low dose codeine-containing medications are not intended to treat long-term health conditions.
You can read the TGA’s media release for this decision here.
Resources and information available on the link below.
For GP’s-

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