From 1 February 2018 medicines that contain low-dose codeine will not be available without prescription.
Medicines affected include codeine-containing combination analgesics, such as Panadeine, Nurofen Plus and Mersyndol, and pharmacy generic pain relief products, as well as codeine-containing cough, cold and flu products, such as Codral, Demazin and pharmacy generic cough, cold and flu medicines.
There is evidence that codeine is not effective over a long period of time and there are significant risks of dependency. Over-the-counter low-dose codeine containing products offer little additional pain relief when compared to similar medicines without codeine. While it is expected there will be a short-term increase in patient requests for codeine from GPs, this is an opportunity to start a conversation with patients to help them transition.
Pain Management & Addiction Webinar Series
Western NSW PHN is conducting a webinar series for health professionals to provide a balanced focus on practical assessment, prescribing alternatives and pharmacotherapy treatment considerations for both new presentations and existing users of codeine.
Codeine use and Addiction - Presented by Dr Leon Nixon, Addiction Specialist
Pain Management Current Trends - Presented by Dr Amanda Johns, Pain Specialist
Therapeutic Goods Administration
The Drug & Alcohol Specialist Advisory Service (DASAS) – Call 1800 023 687
Immediate advice for health professionals in NSW and ACT worried about complexities in a patient presenting to you. Regional and rural line, 24 hr service.