Codeine prescription only from 1 February 2018
From 1 February 2018, medicines containing codeine will only be available in Australia to consumers who have a prescription.
If you are a pilot, aircraft engineer, air traffic controller or any other member of the aviation community working in a safety sensitive position you need to be aware that if you are using medicines containing codeine from 1 February you will require a prescription from your doctor.
CASA already routinely screens for codeine and opiates as part of our alcohol and drug testing program. That's because codeine can impair performance and is not suitable for use in a safety sensitive environment. If your doctor prescribes medicine containing codeine, you must tell the organisation you work for that you are taking it. This ensures appropriate work safety measures can be put in place while you're using the medication.
If you already own medicines containing codeine that you purchased over the counter before 1 February and you are working in a safety sensitive aviation position you should not continue using these without a doctor's report and, as always, inform your employer.
More information about the changes can be found in the Therapeutic Goods Administration's Codeine information hub.