Gabapentin and pregabalin – brand names include Lyrica, Alzain and Neurontin – will be reclassified as Schedule 3 Controlled Drugs from April 1, 2019.
Gabapentin is used to treat shingles, or it can happen after an injury.
Pregabalin is used to treat anxiety and is also taken for nerve pain.
What does this mean for me?
- Prescriptions for controlled drugs should be written for a maximum of one month’s supply and prescriptions for controlled drugs must be presented at the pharmacy within 28 days of the prescription date.
- Previously Gabapentin and Pregabalin prescriptions could be sent to your pharmacy using the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS). As this can no longer happen you may need to collect the prescription from the surgery and take it to your pharmacy, or ask your pharmacy to collect your prescription for you from the surgery.
Other medication can continue to be supplied as repeat dispensing if you wish.
- The prescribing of controlled drugs is closely monitored. This may mean that you are called in for more regular reviews to make sure the medication is still working.
- Make sure that you do not run out as Pharmacists are not allowed to provide emergency supplies of Gabapentin or Pregabalin without a prescription. You (or your representative) may be asked for proof of identity when collecting your prescription, and you may be asked to sign that you have received it.
Do you need to do anything?
- If you currently get your prescription through the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) then speak to your pharmacist or staff at the Practice.
- When you next request a prescription, please be aware that these changes will be in force.
- This is a nationwide change to the regulations and your GP and Pharmacist are legally required to change practice.