The Health News Australia January 29 2018

  • Codeine-based pain relief will no longer be available over the counter soon. To get your hands on painkillers like Panadeine and Nurofen Plus, you will first need to make a trip to your GP to get a script. It’s part of a decision by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to move the drug from Schedule 2 and 3 to Schedule 4 (prescription only), in a bid to curb codeine addiction and misuse. Research published in the Medical Journal of Australia found the rate of codeine-related deaths in Australia more than doubled between 2000 to 2009.
  • Queensland’s only children’s hospital treated more than three youngsters a day for burns last year, with one-third requiring surgery. The shock statistic comes as the state’s two leading hospitals remind holiday goers of fire safety this long weekend, as thousands prepare to use barbecues and go camping. The Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital treated more than 1,300 children for burns injuries in 2017, an increase of over 27% from 2016.
  • The Therapeutic Goods Administration has apparently mooted the idea of banning general practitioners from prescribing strong painkillers as the country faces an opioid overdose epidemic. Fairfax Media has reported that the TGA flagged the idea in a consultation paper, The proposal would bar doctors from prescribing painkillers such as morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl and pethidine.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 29th of January 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2018-01-29/codeine-changes-what-you-need-to-know/9361922

Codeine-based pain relief will no longer be available over the counter soon. To get your hands on painkillers like Panadeine and Nurofen Plus, you will first need to make a trip to your general practitioner to get a script. It’s part of a decision by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to move the drug from Schedule two and three to Schedule four (prescription only), in a bid to curb codeine addiction and misuse. But the change doesn’t mean a doctor’s appointment will be necessary for every migraine, sports injury, or bout of period pain. There are alternatives for effective pain management, and in most cases, codeine is not an appropriate first line of treatment.
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Codeine is an opioid pain medication that is converted into morphine once you swallow it.
Doctor Bastian Seidel, president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners said: “Traditionally, it’s been used for acute pain, chronic pain, and unfortunately for some patients who have irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhoea. ”  What doctors now know is that codeine is not an effective treatment for chronic pain, and when used over a long period of time or in a self-medicating way, can be harmful. According to the TGA: “Codeine can cause opioid tolerance, dependence, addiction, poisoning and in high doses, death.”

Research published in the Medical Journal of Australia found the rate of codeine-related deaths in Australia more than doubled between two thousand to two thousand nine.
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Research has shown that over-the-counter pain medicines containing codeine offer very little additional benefit when compared with similar medicines without codeine.
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Doctor Seidel noted that anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen are for short-term use only, and given the potential for long-term side effects, should not be used regularly without consultation from a GP.

https://www.perthnow.com.au/lifestyle/garden/burns-risk-peaks-amid-australia-day-barbecues-camping-trips-ng-ecac8d0641c884dfb575e2abc94cd41d

Queensland’s only children’s hospital treated more than three youngsters a day for burns last year, with one-third requiring surgery. The shock statistic comes as the state’s two leading hospitals remind holiday goers of fire safety this long weekend, as thousands prepare to use barbecues and go camping.

The Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital treated more than one thousand three hundred children for burns injuries in two thousand seventeen, an increase of over twenty seven percent from two thousand sixteen. And Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital treated four hundred forty three patients for burns in two thousand seventeen, citing an increase in people presenting around festive seasons and public holidays.

Seventy-two patients were admitted for petrol burns alone at RBWH, with twenty two incidents involving barbecues and butane gas bottles. RBWH also treated thirty two patients for campfire burns after people slept near them, tripped or fell into the fire.

Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital director of burns and trauma Professor Roy Kimble said the number of young burns victims had increased in recent years, with several children being permanently scarred in two thousand seventeen because they chose to play in the wrong pile of sand.
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The hospital treated seventy eight children for burns from outdoor fires in two thousand sixteen , with more than fifty of those injuries caused by glowing coals or ashes.

https://www.9news.com.au/health/2018/01/27/10/14/gps-may-be-barred-from-prescribing-opioids

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has apparently mooted the idea of banning general practitioners from prescribing strong painkillers as the country faces an opioid overdose epidemic. Fairfax Media has reported that the TGA flagged the idea in a consultation paper, the proposal would bar doctors from prescribing painkillers such as morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl and pethidine.

It would mean people needing these strong opioids would have to consult specialists in order to get a prescription. The TGA is already moving to restrict access to some painkillers. For instance, from February one, Nurofen Plus will no longer be available over the counter.

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