Alarm over push to down-schedule high-strength ibuprofen

But supporters claim making 400mg tablets available as an S2 drug will help patients with swallowing difficulties

The TGA is being asked to down-schedule high-strength ibuprofen for short-term relief of acute pain and fever as an alternative to codeine which was pulled from pharmacies two years ago.

Patients can buy 400mg double strength or 600mg modified release forms of the painkiller — with a maximum daily dose of 1200mg — as an S3 pharmacist-only medicine.

But the TGA will examine whether 400mg of ibuprofen in packs of up to 12 tablets