Paracetamol: rescheduling sought for modified release

The recommendation to reschedule modified release paracetamol 665mg as S3 (pharmacist only) has been welcomed by the Pharmacy Guild.

Guild National President George Tambassis said rescheduling modified release paracetamol to S3 would result in patients benefiting from the required interaction with their community pharmacist.

“Quite clearly, with a rescheduling consumers would benefit from pharmacist counselling on the correct dose and the risks of this particular product,” he said.

“This is particularly important as paracetamol modified release has an unpredictable profile which creates difficulties in the management of an overdose.”

Mr Tambassis said there were benefits to the use of paracetamol in immediate and modified release formulations for the indicated conditions.

“Access with counselling from a pharmacist is appropriate,” he said.

“Since the product was delisted from the PBS, most sales have been over the counter, so consumers haven’t necessarily been counselled by pharmacy staff on the safe use of this medicine.

“Given that the product is kept with other paracetamol products, consumers may not realise that the product is a modified release and has a different dosing regimen to immediate release paracetamol products.

“The Guild commends the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling for this recommendation and for showing its trust in the skills and expertise of community pharmacists to provide appropriate and timely counselling for patients using modified release paracetamol.”

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