Painkillers containing codeine will only be available with a doctor's prescription from 2018

Photo: Rick Loomis/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images.

Painkillers containing codeine will only be available with a prescription from 2018.

The Australian reports that the move by the Therapeutic Goods Administration comes after it decided addiction and overdose were too likely to allow pharmacists to sell it over the counter.

A lead-in period of more than 12 months will allow those who suffer chronic pain to make alternative arrangements with their doctor.

This is up from a six-month period which was initially tabled when the TGA first flagged upscheduling codeine in October last year.

The TGA is expected to make a formal announcement before Christmas.

The Australia has more.

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