NHS England has issued reminder guidance to support the reclassification to schedule three of gabapentin and pregabalin from April 1.
This means that in addition to the normal prescription requirements for prescription only medicines, prescriptions for Schedule 3 controlled drugs must also contain the following:
- Dose (which must be clearly defined; ‘as directed’ is not acceptable)
- Date on which it was signed
- Address of the prescriber
- Strength (where appropriate)
- Total quantity or dosage units of the preparation in both words and figures
An appropriate date: prescriptions are valid for 28 days after the appropriate date on the prescription. The appropriate date is either the signature date or any other date indicated on the prescription (by the prescriber) as a date before which the drug should not be supplied – whichever is the later.
The Department of Health and Social Care has issued strong recommendations that the maximum quantity of Schedule 3 drugs prescribed should not exceed 30 days.
Training on the management of Controlled Drugs, including Schedule 3 drugs, is available to DDA members in the library of Dispenser Education Modules.