Painkillers to carry addiction warnings

Over-the-counter painkillers will carry prominent health warnings about the dangers of addiction from next year.


Painkillers that include codeine, such as Nurofen Plus and Solpadeine Plus, will carry a label that reads: “Can cause addiction. For three days use only”.

The move is one of a series of measures announced by the Government’s drug watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) aimed at tackling the problem of “hidden addiction”.

The watchdog also says that advertising will no longer be able to state that drugs can help cure ailments such as colds, but instead will state that they can only help relieve acute and moderate pain.

The maximum number of pills in a packet will be limited to 32 and warnings about addiction will be repeated on any literature inside.

The MHRA announcement follows a July report by a parliamentary group that warned about the danger of over-the-counter painkillers. About 32,000 people in the UK are believed to be addicted to painkillers, according to official estimates.

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