Posted: 28, May 0 Comments By: Rufina Lam

Warning – Codeine & Codeine containing Medicines in Kids


Safety concerns have arisen over use of codeine and codeine-containing medicines in children after reports of respiratory depression, including some fatalities. New guidelines and contraindications have been issued by international regulatory bodies, including the FDA, EMA and MHRA following safety reviews. The TGA is aware of the actions of other regulators and is continuing to review the available information to determine whether any action is required in Australia.

Do not use codeine to treat pain in children aged under 18 after tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy. Consider alternative analgesics.

Only use codeine to treat moderate pain of short duration in children over 12 years and only if it cannot be relieved by other analgesics such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.1,2 Do not use codeine in adults or children known to be ultra-rapid metabolisers of codeine

Brand name: Actacode codeine linctus* Not recommended for use in children without medical supervision; not suitable for children under 12

Codeine Phosphate* Not suitable for use in children under 12

Paracetamol/Codeine 500/30†, Codapane Forte†, Comfarol Forte†, Codalgin Forte tablets†, Dolaforte tablets†, Panadeine Forte†, Prodeine 15†, Prodeine Forte† Can be given in reduced doses to children over age 7; not suitable for children under 7

Mersyndol Forte tablets‡ Not recommended for children under 12