Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Codeine ban will induce headaches: pharmacists

From the Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald:
Big changes to the way codeine tablets such as Nurofen Plus and Panadeine are sold are expected to cause a headache for pharmacists and customers.

From May 1, all combination medications containing codeine, which are used by 4 million Australians each year, will be rescheduled.

Packs containing up to 12 milligrams of codeine will be kept behind the counter and dispensed only by a pharmacist who will record the customer's details. This includes 12-tablet and 24-tablet packs of Nurofen Plus and Panadeine.

Customers will have to obtain a prescription for a 48-tablet pack or larger, leading many to stock up before so-called Codeine May Day.

The National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee ordered the changes over concerns that 1 in 20,000 people abused combination analgesics containing codeine and ibuprofen, which can cause perforated gastric ulcers and kidney failure. ...more

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