Medicines that contain codeine are no longer available without a prescription.
From 1 February 2018, you will be unable to buy medicines containing codeine over the counter at pharmacies, a prescription from your doctor will be needed.
Many people feel that this is a dreadful inconvenience and most who take medicines containing codeine don't use them regularly. There is some rationale behind these changes though.
The changes have been introduced in response to the rising number of issues associated with codeine misuse. Codeine is a useful appropriate medication for short-term, acute severe pain. It is however overused for less severe pain. Inappropriate use can result in a painkiller addiction, severe side effects or accidental overdose.
Please make an appointment with your doctor to discuss an appropriate pain management strategy. There are many different options for pain management available and your GP is well informed and able to guide you through all of these options.
For further information please refer to the following resources: