Patients taking 90 codeine combos a day

Some patients are taking dozens of OTC codeine combination pills a day, says a pharmacist who has studied the impact of the drugs on gastrointestinal disease.

They are also not as effective as the marketing implies, says clinical pharmacist Dr Jacinta Johnson, who wants patients to be warned about the risks from the first time the drugs are dispensed.

“Codeine is marketed as a really strong painkiller, but in low doses it is not that effective.”

Community pharmacists should