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Fatal misuse of codeine–ibuprofen analgesics in Victoria, Australia

Jennifer L Pilgrim and Olaf H Drummer
Med J Aust 2014; 200 (3): 151. || doi: 10.5694/mja13.11335
Published online: 17 February 2014

In reply: We welcome McAvoy and Tobin’s support of our recommendation that over-the-counter (OTC) codeine combination analgesics be available as prescription only. These products are the only narcotic analgesics available without prescription. Hundreds of people in Australia and New Zealand have now been treated for addiction to OTC codeine combination analgesics or the often life-threatening non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug injury caused by the high-dose ibuprofen secondary to codeine addiction.1,2

  • Jennifer L Pilgrim
  • Olaf H Drummer

  • Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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