Codeine Rescheduling

Codeine changes

From 1 February 2018, all medicines that contain low-dose codeine will no longer be available from pharmacies without a script. 

This scheduling change affects all codeine-containing products that are currently available over-the-counter (OTC). This includes combination analgesics (Schedule 3) and cough and cold preparations (Schedule 2). After 1 February 2018, codeine containing medicines will only be available to consumers by prescription (Schedule 4).

How we can help

SEMPHN and the Area 4 Pharmacotherapy Network (A4PN) can provide support to health professionals with the management of patients who have issues with their use of codeine. This includes:

  • GP peer-based mentoring 
  • Addiction Medicine Specialist advice
  • Support to access approved prescriber and pharmacist training 
  • Advice on implementing a pharmacotherapy service in your practice or pharmacy

Contact A4PN on ph: 0428 785 371 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more information.

Information for pharmacists 

All pharmacies in our catchment have been sent a ‘codeine pack’ in December 2017 containing resources to help you and your patients, including pharmacy bags with simple codeine resched-uling messages. If you didn’t receive a pack or would like additional resources, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Here are some more things you can do:

Please contact the Area 4 Pharmacotherapy Network for support, to request more resources or to arrange a visit to your pharmacy via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0428 785 371.

Information for GPs

GPs are likely to experience an increase in patient consultations that relate to codeine. For some patients, you may like to explore alternative pain management options, while for others you may need to consider the diagnosis of codeine dependence and take appropriate steps to manage this.

To prepare for the codeine changes, you can:

Other useful websites:

Information for other health professionals


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