Register Login

Telephone 01452 310706

Gabapentin and Pregabalin to be reclassified as Controlled Drugs

From 00:01 on 1 April 2019, gabapentin and pregabalin will be reclassified as Schedule 3 controlled drugs.  Full details were emailed to practice managers on 13 February.  This is an alert to those who have not yet been informed of the change.  When prescribing for Schedule 3 controlled drugs note particularly that:

  • The dose must be clearly defined ('as directed' is not acceptable.)
  • DHSC recommends that the maximum quantity should not exceed 30 days' supply.
  • Emergency supply is not permitted.
  • There must be a valid controlled drug prescription to obtain supplies from a pharmacy. 
  • From 1 April 2019, it will be not be possible to supply pregabalin and gabapentin through repeat dispensing, e.g. paper FP10 RD form or electronic repeat dispensing (eRD). This means prescribers must not issue repeatable prescriptions. (This is distinct from issuing a repeat prescription, to be requested and issued by the practice, with a wet signature attached.) Suppliers of EPS systems will update their systems by 31 March 2019 to support the change to the classification of gabapentin and pregabalin. Although system suppliers will make these changes prior to 1 April 2019, gabapentin and pregabalin prescriptions should not be treated as Schedule 3 controlled drugs until 1 April 2019.

You should now:

  • Ensure your practice team is aware of the change.
  • Stop repeat dispensing for gabapentin and pregabalin as early as possible before 1 April 2019 and put transition arrangements in place for patients.  
  • Inform all patients currently taking pregabalin and gabapentin about the impact this change will have on their prescriptions. Ask them to ensure they request any prescriptions in plenty of time, to help the NHS to manage the transition process.

It is not helpful or appropriate for anyone to stockpile these medicines. 


Copyright Gloucestershire Local Medical Committee.
All rights reserved.

managed by quantum-soft