Codeine death study adds to evidence of misuse

Combination analgesic usage a growing public health problem 

About 40 Australians die each year from combination paracetamol/codeine misuse, according to data that supports the restriction of access to codeine-containing analgesics.

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The Monash University study identified 441 unintentional deaths associated with codeine-combination drugs across NSW, Queensland and Victoria over a 10-year period.

Behaviours of abuse, including doctor/pharmacy shopping and excessive and extended use, were identified in a quarter of cases. 

The findings support US evidence that suggests codeine overdose is more likely to occur in women older