This decision was made partly due to people abusing these products, but also due to the side effects of codeine – as some people can develop a dependence on it and causing addictions, and codeine becoming less effective over time and this can lead to higher doses and poisoning, digestive system conditions, and withdrawal symptoms if it stopped.
So on 1st February 2018, you won’t be able to buy products with codeine without a doctor’s prescription, that's if you can actually get in to see a doctor at short notice anyway.
Considering the side effects of codeine, should you be taking it (or any other pain killers) anyway? Or what else can you do?
Pain is a symptom of inflammation. It is you body telling you to STOP what is causing the inflammation, or to NOT use that part of your body so it can heal the damage. If you take pain killing medications, you are overriding and ignoring your body's safety signals so you can carry on doing what you normally do.
What can I (as a Nutritionist and Naturopath) do about reducing pain? Quite a lot! Because pain is inflammation, I first start with looking at your food intake, and to reduce inflammation-causing foods. This will reduce overall inflammation, and thus some pain and other symptoms too! I can also prescribe pain-killing and anti-inflammatory foods/nutrients and herbal medicines. There are many to choose from, and it can depend on your symptoms, and the location and severity of your pain.
Many of the common pain-killing pharmaceutical medications are based on plant extracts - aspirin from the bark of the willow tree, codeine (and morphine and oxycodone) from poppies, and many more. While the pain-killing compounds were initially found in plants, they are artificially synthesised in medications so the pharmaceutical company can patent the compound and make a huge profit! They can't patent a natural product! The issue with this is that medications have just one of the synthetic "active" ingredients from the plant, which unfortunately often causes side effects of the medication. In the real plant extracts, like in nutritional or herbal medicines, the many other active ingredients prevent those side effects, as all of the active ingredients are needed!
Are there some natural and safer alternatives to codeine and other coughing and pain-killing medications - yes! My clinic has a large selection of nutritional and herbal medicines which are proven to be effective in reducing coughing, pain and inflammation, and without the nasty side effects of the prescription medications. I have created a codeine-replacment liquid herbal mixture to reduce inflammation, reduce pain, and reduce nerve pain too.
If chronic pain, nerve pain or inflammation is an issue for you or someone you know, we can help with safer treatments!