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Gabapentin and Pregabalin to be reclassified as Schedule 3 CD's from 1st April 2019
11 Mar 2019
Prescription drugs Pregabalin and Gabapentin are to be reclassified as schedule 3 controlled drugs from the 1st April 2019. The move comes after experts highlighted increasing numbers of deaths linked to the medications. The change means it will be illegal to be in possession of Pregabalin and Gabapentin without a valid prescription and it will be illegal to pass them on to others. The drugs, which are used to treat nerve pain, epilepsy and anxiety, can bring about an elevated mood in users but can also have serious side effects, particularly when used in conjunction with other treatments. The change in legislation will subsequently mean the drugs are still available for legitimate use on prescription, however, there will be stricter measures in place to ensure accountability and minimise the chances of pregabalin and gabapentin falling into the wrong hands or being stockpiled by patients. The new classification is expected to prompt a decline in the use of the drugs as prescribing, dispensing, and collecting them becomes more onerous for doctors, pharmacists, and patients. The reclassification will make it illegal to provide pregabalin and gabapentin through repeat dispensing. Pharmacists will be required to dispense the drugs within 28 days of a prescription being written, and doctors will have to hand sign prescriptions unless a system for electronic prescription of controlled drugs is agreed and rolled out. Please see the following links for more information: https://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.l1107 https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/pregabalin-and-gabapentin-guidance.pdf https://psnc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/PSNC-Briefing-010.19-Reclassification-of-gabapentin-and-pregabalin-as-Controlled-Drugs.pdf
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