Some paracetamol products will be kept behind the counter next year, amid concern over serious health issues.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration found that people who suffer painful conditions such as osteoarthritis were at an increased risk of serious health issues if they overdose on modified-release paracetamol.
From June 2020, modified-release paracetamol products, which deliver a delayed effect for a prolonged period of time, will be up-scheduled.
Doctor Anchita Karmakar from the Royal College of GPs says it’ll help with pain management and avoid a potential overdose.
“Keeping it over the counter became a little more dangerous because we couldn’t quantify the time that it took to reach that toxicity rate, so it actually gives that opportunity for pharmacists to talk about it with and counsel the patient prior to them using the product.”
Paracetamol is currently the single most commonly-taken pharmaceutical medication in overdoses.
In February 2018, medicines containing codeine were up-scheduled and taken from over-the-counter to prescription-only.