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A cross-sectional analysis of over-the-counter codeine use amongst an Australian sample of people who regularly inject drugs


Arora, S and Roxburgh, A and Bruno, R and Nielsen, S and Burns, L, A cross-sectional analysis of over-the-counter codeine use amongst an Australian sample of people who regularly inject drugs, Drug and Alcohol Review, 32, (6) pp. 574-581. ISSN 0959-5236 (2013) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Wiley

DOI: doi:10.1111/dar.12059


combination drugs in a sample of people who inject drugs; and to examine risk factors associated with exceeding the recommended dose of OTC codeine, including the experience of pain. Design and Methods: Analysis of annual survey data from a convenience sample of people who inject drugs in Australia who are interviewed for the Illicit Drug Reporting System. People who have injected drugs (n=902) on at least a monthly basis in the preceding six months across Australia were interviewed. Participants were asked about their use of OTC codeine and their experience of pain. Results: One-third (35%) of participants had used OTC codeine in the preceding six months and 52% (95% confidence interval 48.7-55.3) of this group had exceeded the recommended dose on their last occasion of use. This clearly places them at increased risk of harms associated with toxicity from the accompanying analgesic found in combination codeine products. Multivariate analyses demonstrated that those exceeding the recommended codeine dose of OTC codeine were more likely to be experiencing moderate to very severe pain. Discussion: There is a need to evaluate the approach to pain management in this population. Greater pharmacist involvement, real time monitoring of sales, the development of screening tools to identify those at risk of harm and further education of primary care practitioners could be beneficial in reducing the risk of harm associated with these medications for all users of OTC codeine, including people who inject drugs.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:opioid misuse
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Bruno, R (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)
ID Code:84982
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:10
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2013-06-10
Last Modified:2017-11-07
Downloads:161 View Download Statistics

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