Codeine Rescheduling

From 1 February 2018, all over-the-counter codeine-containing medicines for pain relief, cough and colds will be available by prescription only.

This decision was formalised in December 2016 by the Commonwealth Government on the advice of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) as the Australian national medicines regulator.

The TGA undertook a comprehensive review of the clinical evidence available for these products, as well as significant consultation with key stakeholders.

The TGA has confirmed codeine can cause opioid addiction, poisoning and in high doses, death.

There are safer, more effective treatments available over the counter, and there is also strong evidence of ongoing health risks associated with codeine use without supervision by a doctor.

Further information about the TGA (Australian national medicines regulator) decision on codeine can be found at the TGA Codeine information hub

The Department of Health and Human Services has convened the Codeine Rescheduling Implementation Group (CRIG) to prepare Tasmania for the rescheduling of over-the-counter codeine-containing medicines.

The CRIG includes representatives from:

  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Pain Australia
  • Tasmanian Health Service
  • Pharmacy Guild of Australia (Tasmania Branch)
  • Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
  • Australian Medical Association (Tasmania Branch)
  • Australasian College of Emergency Medicine
  • Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (Tasmania Branch)
  • Primary Health Tasmania
  • Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Council of Tasmania
  • Rural Doctors Association of Tasmania.

More patient management and education resources will be available soon.

Information for the community

Patient management resources for health professionals

Education resources for health professionals

We organised joint education sessions for GPs and pharmacist on managing patients with OTC codeine issues in November and December 2017.



Email Public Health Services at for more information.