IT has been over a year since codeine-based pain relief was removed from pharmacy shelves, sparking consumer complaints.
Products containing codeine from brands such as Panadeine, Nurofen and Codral were among those medications that now require a prescription.
South City Pharmacy pharmacist Luke van der Rijt said the transition has been mostly positive, however, not completely without incident.
Mr van der Rijt said a pharmacist based in the Riverina was assaulted in the early stages of the ban by a customer, who was looking for over-the-counter codeine products.
"Initially, it was difficult and patients were upset with the changes," he said.
"Months out we were telling customers of the upcoming changes, doctors were also educating patients and local advertising was run by our Primary Health Network.
"By the time the changes happened most people were aware of them."
Mr van der Rijt has noticed that people have a greater awareness about the dangers of codeine and addiction.
He said the number of codeine-based products in the community has reduced.
"The main concern one year ago was that the people taking over-the-counter strength codeine would regularly seek prescription strength codeine and other prescription painkillers, but thankfully, we have not seen an increase in these prescriptions for pain relief," he said.
Mr van der Rijt said his original concerns about the over-the-counter codeine ban was no longer a worry.
However, he said the treatment of pain and chronic pain was still a problem that needs attention.
"How we treat people with pain and chronic pain in the community moving forward is still an area all healthcare professionals are trying to improve," he said. "We have seen mistakes that have been made overseas with regard to prescription painkillers that we need to avoid."
Mr van der Rijt said the lack of pain relief options for customers who cannot use ibuprofen because of current medications or medical conditions was also a concern.
"There are not many options for these patients and we have to make sure they do not take an over-the-counter products that can make their health worse," he said.
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