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News: Codeine to be labelled “addictive” in UK

2009 September 4

The Telegraph newspaper is reporting that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the UK agency which is responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work and are acceptably safe (Wikipedia), “announced new advice on over-the-counter (OTC) medicines containing codeine and dihydrocodeine (DHC) to minimise the risk of overuse and addiction.” (MHRA website: http://www.mhra.gov.uk/NewsCentre/Pressreleases/CON057115).

Codeine is an opiate (Wikipedia, Telegraph) related to heroin. I report this story here because it will be of relevance to fellow migraine sufferers who take codeine c0ntaining painkillers for relief of symptoms (such as Nurofen Plus or Migraleve).

New packets containing codeine will carry warnings that the drug can cause addiction, and the MHRA warns that codeine should not be taken continuously for more than three days.

You can read the full MHRA report and the Telegraph’s questions and answers pages from the links below:

The Telegraph is also carrying a story of British comedian’s struggles with codeine addiction: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6134607/Mel-Smiths-dark-secret-of-his-Nurofen-addiction.html

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