OTC Codeine Cough Syrups Meet UK Conditions For Rx Reverse Switch, Says Expert Body
Could codiene linctus cough syrups be reverse-switched from OTC to Rx status in the UK? A panel of independent medicines experts suggests they should be, based on UK drugs law and their use in illegal cocktail Purple Drank.
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UK consumers may soon lose OTC access to cough syrups containing codeine after MHRA said the products were increasingly being misused as an ingredient in an illegal recreational drink commonly named “Purple Drank.”
Ireland’s drug regulator HPRA has initiated a formal regulatory procedure to determine if OTC remains the appropriate classification for codeine-containing products. The agency says the move is in response to a growing understanding of the potential impacts of addiction to codeine at low doses.
Prompted by reports of abuse leading to deaths, the European Medicines Agency's PRAC is recommending that combination drugs containing codeine and ibuprofen be reverse-switched across the EU to prescription-only status.