Prescription Pain Medication

Why you may need a prescription for your pain medication

All of us have been in the same situation. You’ve woken up in the middle night with a sore throat and a terrible headache. You feel like you’ve come down with the flu: blocked nose, nagging headache, a developing cough and a slowly building fever. So you think you need to see your local GP for a diagnosis for a prescription for some serious antibiotics but you’re not sure. You might just need some pain medication.

What is certain, however, is that you need to see a doctor. To make matters worse, your local GP isn’t in today and you’ve got work at 9am. At a time like this, you need a simple pain medication that is over-the-counter, one that you can get access to quickly. However, with the Australian Government’s new legislation regarding codeine painkillers, chances are that since 1st February 2018, you’ve been told that you need a prescription for your chosen painkiller.

Why has this law change come into effect?

The decision to up-schedule all low-dose codeine products (from 15 milligrams to 30 milligrams) was overseen by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Indeed, the TGA conducted a risk-benefit analysis, finding that over-the-counter medicines containing codeine presented no significant advantage compared to their non-codeine alternatives. At the same time, the inquiry found that codeine presented some noticeable side effects, such as addiction, stomach aches and drowsiness to those who had become reliant on the drug.

What over-the-counter drugs have been affected?

Several common types of pain medication have been affected by the recent legislation. The medicines affected are available under brand names such as Panadeine, Mersyndol and Nurofen Plus, along with codeine-containing cough medicines and cold and flu products. The affected brand names include Codral and Demazin, along with some pharmacy generic brands.

What does this mean?

Put simply, if you’re someone who frequently used codeine-containing pain medication, you now require a prescription from a certified doctor. This is where Instant Consult comes in. We specialise in providing medical certificates, prescriptions, referrals, pathology requests and radiology requests for those who require documentation urgently. With access anywhere – day and night, our doctors at Instant Consult will respond to your video call ASAP with compassion, understanding and a wide array of knowledge and experience.

A reminder on instant painkillers

With all the changes to prescription policies and codeine restrictions, it is important to understand the side effects of taking painkillers and which ones are best for you, given your health condition.

Paracetamol is an effective pain medication for mild to moderate discomfort; however, if it is overused it can cause serious liver damage. Ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen Plus) is absorbed into the bloodstream at a faster rate; however, it should only be used over a short period of time. If this persists, consult your local GP or one of our online doctors at Instant Consult.

Directions for children

Given the side-effects of high-codeine supplements, it is more important now to understand when, what and how painkillers should be administered to your children. Paracetamol can only be given to children one month or older; make sure you know your child’s weight before dosage. Likewise, Ibuprofen can be given to children only three months or older. Both Ibuprofen and Paracetamol can only be purchased at pharmacies, not your local supermarket.

by Instant Consult