Changes to codeine access from 1 February

31 January 2018

From 1 February, medicines containing codeine for pain and cold and flu relief will no longer be available over-the-counter in Australia. After this date, all medicines containing codeine will require a prescription.

Woman talking to a pharmacist

The decision was made by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) (external site) and is based on concerns of harm arising from the use of codeine without medical supervision.

Most people should be able to manage mild to moderate pain, or cough and cold symptoms with safe, alternative medicines, that are still available over-the-counter.

Your pharmacist or medical practitioner can provide advice and assistance on alternative treatments to replace codeine, for your individual circumstances.

Information on the changes, as well as resources for consumers and health professionals can be found on the TGA’s Codeine Information Hub (external site).

View the factsheet (PDF 170KB).