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Codeine reschedule information for health professionals

Queensland Health is developing materials to assist health professionals with the transition; these will be available in the near future.

A number of materials will also be available on the TGA’s codeine information hub.

On 13 December 2017, the TGA held a codeine rescheduling workshop in Brisbane which offered an opportunity to discuss the impacts of the upcoming change. View the recording of the workshop.

Please note that this recording is being hosted by JPL Media. You will be asked for your name and email address to access the sessions. This enables us to ensure that the information is getting the required reach.

General practitioners

You may be required to discuss these changes with your patients, as well as any alternative treatment options. Your patients may have questions about long term pain management, or cough and cold treatment options which do not include codeine.

Please refer to the TGA’s tips for talking about codeine and  education resources page for more information.

You may wish to display materials to inform your patients of the upcoming changes. To assist you with this, Queensland Health has developed a printable poster (PDF 1406 kB)


Pharmacists will continue to be an important source of information and advice for consumers. You may want to suggest the use of alternative over the counter products, or advise the patient to discuss their pain, and cold and flu management options with their GP.

As codeine-containing medicines can continue to be sold over the counter until 31 January 2018, some consumers may seek to stockpile medicines prior to the scheduling change. You need to ensure supply is consistent with quality use of medicines principles.

Please refer to the TGA’s pharmacist fact sheet and education resources page for more information.


Dentists, who may be asked to write prescriptions for codeine products that are no longer available over the counter, will continue to be an important source of information for patients. Dentists should continue to be aware of how to manage dental pain without the use of opioids, develop practice policies around prescribing opioids and learn how to recognise possible dependency issues.

Dentists can refer to this factsheet (PDF 60 kB)


The upcoming 1 February 2018 reschedule of codeine means changes in access for Queensland hospital staff in terms of labelling, administration and possession.

Hospitals in Queensland can refer to this factsheet (PDF 81 kB)

Last updated: 26 July 2019