Medicines containing codeine will require a prescription from 2018 amid ongoing concerns about overuse and abuse of the pain killer.
After being swamped with submissions on the proposal, the Therapeutic Goods Administration has decided products with codeine will no longer be available over the counter.
The change will begin on February 1, 2018.
The regulator said it had taken in consideration the US, most of Europe, Hong Kong, Japan and UAE had already stopped the sale of codeine products without a script.
Its public consultations indicated many consumers use low-dose codeine medicines to self-treat chronic pain, even though they are not intended for long-term conditions.
“This meant that consumers frequently became addicted to codeine,” it said.
The TGA said the 2018 start date would allow consumers to discuss treatment options with their doctors.