THE Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) has published reassurance for Australians around the safety of cough and cold medicines containing pholcodine.
ASMI was responding to a Channel 9 report which renewed calls for restrictions on pholcodine due to potential risks of anaphylaxis in a small patient group when using neuromuscular blocking agents during surgery (PD 07 May 2013).
ASMI said pholcodine-containing medicines had a long history of use and a well-established, favourable safety profile.
“In Australia, cough and cold medicines are regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) and products containing pholcodine have been used by Australians for more than 30 years.”
Reports of an association between pholcodine and anaphylactic reactions to neuromuscular blocking agents during surgery are hypothetical, with inconsistencies, uncertainties and no causative effect demonstrated, ASMI says.
The TV story cited the TGA saying it continued to monitor the issue.