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Medication law changes to pregabalin and gabapentin

March 21, 2019

If you have been prescribed pregabalin (Alzain or Lyrica) and gabapentin (Neurontin), it is important to be aware that the government will be changing their medication laws from 1 April 2019. This means that these medications will become controlled drugs.

This follows Government concerns and recommendation submitted by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs for the implementation of additional safeguards due to concerns around the misuse of these drugs.

These changes will mainly affect prescribers and pharmacies. However, the way that you access these drugs may also be affected.

Additional changes in rules will include:

  • only 30 days’ supply is normally allowed on one prescription
  • you must collect medicines from the pharmacy within 28 days of the date on the prescription (which is not always the date the prescription was signed)
  • any medicine ‘owed’ to you by the pharmacy must also be collected by that date
  • for some GP practices it may no longer be possible to send prescriptions electronically to the pharmacy. This does not apply if your GP practice uses the electronic prescription service for controlled drugs
  • all patients will need to request repeat prescriptions each month from their GP practice. It will no longer be possible to get your medicine from the pharmacy using repeat or ‘batch’ dispensing
  • you or your representative will need to sign and show proof of identity at the pharmacy to be able to collect your medicine.

Your GP practice will make these changes before the law changes on 1 April 2019. If you are unsure about these changes we recommend that you contact your GP.

Need advice deciding which painkiller you should use? The NHS have a webpage designed to guide you through the process of finding pain medication that works for you.