Guidance on pregabalin and gabapentin becoming CDs published

Guidance on pregabalin and gabapentin becoming CDs published

February 14, 2019

Community pharmacy teams are reminded that from 1st April 2019 pregabalin and gabapentin will be reclassified as Schedule 3 Controlled Drugs (CDs), and PSNC has developed a briefing to explain what the amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 and the Safe Custody Regulations 1973 mean for the dispensing of prescriptions.

Once this change has come into force, all gabapentin and pregabalin prescriptions will be subject to the following prescription writing requirements for Schedule 3 CDs and it will be illegal to supply these drugs through repeat dispensing. However, pregabalin and gabapentin will be included in the list of “exempted drugs” in the safe custody regulations which means that they will not be required to be kept in the CD cabinet.

Whilst Schedule 3 CDs are generally not yet prescribable via the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS), some GP practices are piloting EPS CDs and so pharmacy teams should be aware that they may receive and dispense a mix of EPS/paper prescriptions for gabapentin and pregabalin.


PSNC Briefing 010/19: Reclassification of gabapentin and pregabalin as CDs
PSNC Briefing 016/19: EPS Controlled drugs FAQs
NHS England has issued a briefing note on Rescheduling of Gabapentin and Pregabalin as Schedule 3 Controlled DrugsGP practices using EMIS

Prescribing by EMIS GP practices

NHS England has informed PSNC that EMIS updates to reclassify gabapentin and pregabalin will be in place by 15th February, meaning paper prescriptions will replace those previously sent by EPS. If a patient’s other prescription items are issued via EPS, there is a risk that the paper script for pregabalin or gabapentin may not be collected from the GP practice; pharmacy teams should be alert to this risk. Full details available here.


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