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Has the OTC codiene ban done any good, or just inconvenienced the average Jo?


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#26 born.a.girl

Posted 10 October 2019 - 08:50 AM

View PostDianalynch, on 10 October 2019 - 08:41 AM, said:

I was in the ED over the weekend, after all the tests and diagnosis stuff I was concerned about breakthrough pain that Panadol and ibuprofen hadn't helped with, had a chat with the resident about pain management and we agreed on a short script of opioids for any breakthrough pain. Which I haven't needed, but it's reassuring to know they're there.

I've had the opposite experience to some PPs, where every Dr, nurse or paramedic I've come across is concerned about pain and the best way of managing it.


After major surgery the pain relief scheduled was so efficient that it seemed to be coming around every five minutes (no doubt an impression caused by the lovely drugs themselves), and once I was coherent enough to chat to a nurse about it, she said that the idea was to take pain relief before you need it - they know it's coming, waiting until you're in pain again only delays your recovery.

I was bliddy grateful for them when they got me out of bed!

#27 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 10 October 2019 - 08:59 AM

Having just had 2 members of my family in hospital recently, it's amazing how the nurses treat paracetamol. They walk around with packets tucked in their pockets. It was given freely and my family members even told to carry a dose with them, even if they didn't have pain, in case they had pain while gone having a scan. I hope it was all charted. The joke my DH said to the nurses " so I guess these are like lollies" which always they laughed about. I honestly worry with the call to make paracetamol only available in smaller packets and back to chemists only, as well as isobufen we are running out of OTC pain medications.

#28 AnythingGoes

Posted 10 October 2019 - 11:59 AM

View PostIamzFeralz, on 10 October 2019 - 05:57 AM, said:

A 50% drop in overdoses is massive.

It's not actually a 50% drop in overdoses - it's a 50% drop in calls to the New South Wales Poisons Information Centre.  Which may or may not translate to a 50% drop in overdoses (do people in NSW ring the poisons information centre when overdosing or 000?)

The other thing I would like to see is if there has been any changes in overdoses of paracetamol and ibuprofen (their study said there wasn't an increase in calls relating to  non-codeine opioids but didn't include non-opioid painkillers).

Still a 50% drop in people calling the poisons information centre regarding codeine is a good thing - and I'd assume there will be more studies done in the future.

#29 EsmeLennox

Posted 10 October 2019 - 12:07 PM

I think doctors will give it when it’s warranted...surely?

I certainly had no problem last week when I presented to the GP with awful back pain...gave me slow release anti-inflammatory and Panadeine forte and told me if the Panadeine forte wasn’t enough to call the next morning and she’d prescribe oxycodone. Luckily, the Panadeine forte was enough.

I admit it is annoying that I can’t get low dose paracetamol/codeine OTC for the hormonal headaches I get, which sometimes need something stronger than paracetamol or ibuprofen.

#30 SM3s Fight Song

Posted 10 October 2019 - 12:11 PM

I know it's had a negative effect on the quality of life of some of the people with Chronic pain conditions. You can't always get to a gp regularly when you're that sick, it's not as easy as saying it's safer prescribed and I've heard it's more expensive now it's not OTC.  It doesn't effect me because I can't take it anyway due to side effects and even when I could the dosage available OTC had no effect on my pain levels.

Eta: It's much easier to get one off prescriptions for problems then ongoing treatment.  Some GPs aren't prepared to prescribe on an ongoing basis without specialist input for that but in some places public pain clinics have 2 year wait lists.  That's a long time to be in untreated pain.

Edited by SM3s Fight Song, 10 October 2019 - 12:14 PM.


#31 EsmeLennox

Posted 10 October 2019 - 12:13 PM

A prescription for 20 Panadeine forte last week cost me $12. I reckon I used to pay similar or more for regular Panadeine? I can’t remember, I didn’t buy it that often.

#32 SM3s Fight Song

Posted 10 October 2019 - 12:15 PM

View PostEsmeLennox, on 10 October 2019 - 12:13 PM, said:

A prescription for 20 Panadeine forte last week cost me $12. I reckon I used to pay similar or more for regular Panadeine? I can’t remember, I didn’t buy it that often.

I don't know for sure, I don't buy it, just going off what others with Chronic pain have said.  Might depend where you are too.

Edited by SM3s Fight Song, 10 October 2019 - 12:20 PM.


#33 limakilo

Posted 10 October 2019 - 02:48 PM

It's been a bit of both for me.
It made me see my GP for a care plan/pain plan, not just when I needed Panadeine Forte.
So now instead of taking "Nurofen Plus" when I was getting a migraine or bad hip pain, I take Maxalt for migraines, then Targin twice a day while I wait on hip surgery, and Tramadol for bad pain.
I also get injections in the base of my skull for migraines, and I see an osteopath twice a month for dry needling and cupping and massage.
If my pain gets worse I go to the GP or call the locum if I can't leave the house, and I get a cocktail injection.

So while it may have stopped me taking so much over the counter medication, and I have a care plan, it's been bloomin' expensive paying for all of it, and now I just have much stronger drugs.
Not sure of which I prefer tbh.
I do know that if I can't afford to go to the doctor because I haven't been paid and I have run out of medication that I am screwed because I can't just get something over the counter.

#34 Soontobegran

Posted 10 October 2019 - 05:14 PM

I have had to get prescriptions for medications for years. It is what it is.
If you have severe pain or an illness then you go to a doctor whether it is inconvenient or not, we should not self medicate.

Having Codeine off the shelves as an OTC medication is a good thing.
Many people have a very unhealthy relationship with drugs so having an opiate that does not require a script is asking for trouble.

#35 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 10 October 2019 - 05:14 PM

For the lovely triptan migraine tablets... it is also averaging $10 PER TABLET I need to take.

So for my monthly hormonal migraines I am forking out an average of $100 in Scripts. I previously managed better on $15 for a week of codeine (2 tablets a day).



#36 Soontobegran

Posted 10 October 2019 - 05:29 PM

View PostVeritas Vinum Arte, on 10 October 2019 - 05:14 PM, said:

For the lovely triptan migraine tablets... it is also averaging $10 PER TABLET I need to take.

So for my monthly hormonal migraines I am forking out an average of $100 in Scripts. I previously managed better on $15 for a week of codeine (2 tablets a day).

But codeine is still available, why can't you get a prescription for it if you are going to the GP for prescriptions for other drugs?  My GP says she still happily writes prescriptions for codeine for people who find it works for their pain when nothing else does.

Edited by Soontobegran, 10 October 2019 - 05:31 PM.


#37 CallMeFeral

Posted 10 October 2019 - 05:32 PM

View Poststeppy, on 10 October 2019 - 06:58 AM, said:

https://www1.racgp.o...duce-paracetamo

So really just made people switch drug which means the average Jo ends up with nothing because of these 'lives are worth everyone suffering' types. Remind me of birthers.

This study uses data from before the codeine ban, so any increase in paracetamol use found can't be attributed to the codeine restriction.

#38 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 10 October 2019 - 05:45 PM

View PostSoontobegran, on 10 October 2019 - 05:29 PM, said:

But codeine is still available, why can't you get a prescription for it if you are going to the GP for prescriptions for other drugs?  My GP says she still happily writes prescriptions for codeine for people who find it works for their pain when nothing else does.

Neurologist doesn’t like to give scripts for it. Says more than 2 codeine tablets a week results in rebound headaches.... problem is I get an 8 day stretch of headaches from hormones.

I am trying to be good and not use codeine, but it costs and is very inconvenient.

#39 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 10 October 2019 - 05:47 PM

Not to mention one of my triptan tablets is an authority script so if I need extra and go to GP I get the third degree.



#40 Soontobegran

Posted 10 October 2019 - 06:06 PM

View PostVeritas Vinum Arte, on 10 October 2019 - 05:45 PM, said:

Neurologist doesn’t like to give scripts for it. Says more than 2 codeine tablets a week results in rebound headaches.... problem is I get an 8 day stretch of headaches from hormones.

I am trying to be good and not use codeine, but it costs and is very inconvenient.

Did the neurologist know you had relief from OTC Codeine ?
I have to say I do not understand where his/her head is at. did you have rebound headaches when taking it?

I take 2 authority required drugs....I hate the phone call made in front of me to some unknown person who has no clue but I understand they need to keep track of them.

It is a catch 22 but I personally know many people who've had no addictive behaviour in the past who have been well and truly hooked on Codeine. The problem of course is we become sensitised to it so the requirements grow and grow and before we know it there is no turning back.

I wish there was an easy answer, I certainly understand it's a complicated ordeal that we wish we were never a part of.

#41 nom_de_plume

Posted 10 October 2019 - 06:14 PM

View PostDianalynch, on 10 October 2019 - 08:41 AM, said:

I was in the ED over the weekend, after all the tests and diagnosis stuff I was concerned about breakthrough pain that Panadol and ibuprofen hadn't helped with, had a chat with the resident about pain management and we agreed on a short script of opioids for any breakthrough pain. Which I haven't needed, but it's reassuring to know they're there.

I've had the opposite experience to some PPs, where every Dr, nurse or paramedic I've come across is concerned about pain and the best way of managing it.

This has been my recent experience too. I had (relatively minor) orthopedic surgery 2 weeks ago and they happily topped up my IV pain relief and sent me home with plenty of Tramadol. I only took it the first two nights post surgery. The rest of the time I took Panadol and Nurofen as required.

I’m back in hospital because now I have an infection and every time they do obs, I’m offered pain relief.

I have experienced some GPs who are very funny about prescribing antibiotics or ordering certain investigations (my current GP is weird about blood tests), so I’m sure there are also those who would baulk at prescribing pain relief.

#42 afterlaughter

Posted 10 October 2019 - 07:16 PM

I’ve slammed my little toe into sandstone rock today. Peeled off several layers of skin and it’s bruised and swollen. Panadol and Neurofen not giving any relief. In past I would have had some Panadine on hand for similar situations but with the change nothing in house so sitting here in pain. I wish they had just changed it to having to provide your drivers license so it could be tracked instead of proscription only.

#43 PrincessPeach

Posted 10 October 2019 - 07:30 PM

View Postafterlaughter, on 10 October 2019 - 07:16 PM, said:

I’ve slammed my little toe into sandstone rock today. Peeled off several layers of skin and it’s bruised and swollen. Panadol and Neurofen not giving any relief. In past I would have had some Panadine on hand for similar situations but with the change nothing in house so sitting here in pain. I wish they had just changed it to having to provide your drivers license so it could be tracked instead of proscription only.

But you did have to provide your drivers licence (or at least i did last time i bought it), becauss it required a label.

Its an inconvenience for me, GP wont prescribe it because i only need it for hormonal headaches one day every few months or so. Was just told to take combined nurofen & panadol.

#44 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 10 October 2019 - 07:33 PM

View PostSoontobegran, on 10 October 2019 - 06:06 PM, said:

Did the neurologist know you had relief from OTC Codeine ?
I have to say I do not understand where his/her head is at. did you have rebound headaches when taking it?

Yes but everyone is paranoid about overuse and rebound headaches. It is quite simple 8 days around cycle and 3 days mid month my head twitches. Botox has helped so just 1-2 codeine tablets a day helps, but you know rebound headaches. I have done months without codeine and exactly the same pattern. I think until menopause is complete and my hormones aren’t going crazy it will be a problem for me. Problem is my cycles (which were a lovely 8-12 wks) have become as little as 21d and even on medications to help regulate them I went out to 30d but am now back at 26d. Leaves little time for non twitchy times.

#45 Tinky Winky Woo

Posted 10 October 2019 - 08:33 PM

For me it has made no difference as I can not take any of thing other than panadol.

However, working in a doctors surgery the requests from patients had tripled and patients have to be seen a lot more frequently.

#46 ~Bob~

Posted 10 October 2019 - 08:58 PM

View Postafterlaughter, on 10 October 2019 - 07:16 PM, said:

I wish they had just changed it to having to provide your drivers license so it could be tracked instead of proscription only.

I agree. This worked in the chemists that did it. They should have made this mandatory for all chemists, not just the ones in the guild that did it voluntarily. Like the cold and flu tablets.

Mind you, I should be happy. A family member was very addicted to mersydol and used to drive around half asleep (or sometimes literally falling asleep). He was forced to quit so now, thankfully, the roads are safer.

#47 Babetty

Posted 11 October 2019 - 09:51 AM

I'm one of the lucky ones - I used to use Panadeine fairly regularly for bad headaches and stomach cramps, but on advice of doctor and a bit of trial and error I've found other OTC medications that work. So obviously I was taking more codeine than I "should" have, though not addicted.

#48 eilca

Posted 11 October 2019 - 10:23 AM

It has not affected me, but I do not suffer from any chronic pain or illness.
I am glad it has helped lower possible overdoses and self medicating but can see how it is very
Limiting for people with chronic medical conditions.

#49 Treasure Island

Posted 11 October 2019 - 10:29 AM

I used to use Panadeine but years of pregnancy and breastfeeding got me used to just Panadol again. Sometimes I think I could use the codeine but haven't got around to asking my doctor. I have found that Advil liquid caps work well for me as a lot of my pain is muscular in my neck. This morning I have sinus and neck pain on my right side, took Nurofen and still waiting for it to kick in. I will go out soon and get some coke as well which will help but I don't expect to feel better til this afternoon. Really hate these ones I wake up with :/

#50 Greatmum

Posted 11 October 2019 - 10:32 AM

U shouldn’t leave medication in a car anyway. And u can take Panadol an hour apart as long as u don’t take more than the amount in 24 hours.




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