Researchers seek participants to investigate impact of the removal of over-the-counter codeine

28 November 2017

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Researchers investigating the impact of codeine being available only by prescription are seeking individuals who have regularly used it as an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine.

Common OTC codeine-containing products include Nurofen Plus, Panadeine, Mersyndol, Mersyndol Day Strength, Fiorinal, Codalgin, Aspalgin, Panafen Plus.

From 1 February 2018, all codeine-containing medicines will only be available to individuals who have a prescription from a doctor.

The study is being conducted by Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno (University of Tasmania); Dr Suzanne Nielsen (University of NSW), and PhD candidate Jacqui McCoy (UTAS). The study will use a web-based survey to follow participants over a 12-month period to explore the impact the new regulation on access to codeine has on their use of codeine-containing medicines, their pain management, their mental and physical health and their use of health services (e.g. GPs, pharmacies).

Regular consumers of codeine-containing medicines who are over 18, live in Australia and are not currently engaged in treatment for codeine dependence are invited to apply to participate in the study. Participation requires the completion of an online survey at four different times over a 12-month period. For the first survey, participants have the opportunity to win one of twenty $100 vouchers, and they will be reimbursed$20 for each of the remaining three surveys.

Information about participants will be stored in a de-identified format (i.e., personal information such as email address stored separately from your data) on a secure server and no individual data will be published.  Personal information will be deleted approximately one month after the conclusion of the study (October 2018).

More information and a brief screening questionnaire is available here and the study's Facebook page also has further background and comment on the change in access to codeine-containing medicines.

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) encourages consumers of OTC codeine-containing painkillers to talk to their doctor or pharmacist at the earliest convenience to discuss pain management options.