People who take medicines containing codeine are changing the way they manage pain.
Since February 1, these medicines are no longer available over the counter.
To assist with the transition, the National Rural Health Alliance has developed information for health professionals and health consumers.
We've also compiled essential information about codeine and its impacts.
WHY HAS ACCESS CHANGED?
Like morphine, codeine is derived from opium poppies. Codeine can cause opioid tolerance, dependence, addiction, poisoning and in high doses, death.
Some who use codeine containing medicines for chronic pain have become addicted without realising it.
Research shows that low-dose codeine combined with paracetamol or ibuprofen are generally no more effective than other non-codeine medicines.
The Alliance has gathered important information for consumers and health professionals here.
Speak to your pharmacist about alternative pain relief products that don't require a prescription.
If you have strong or chronic (long-lasting) pain, talk to your doctor who can write a prescription.
The National Rural Health Alliance has been funded by the Department of Health to assist with change to codeine containing medicines.