• 15 September 2014

Tramadol added to list of controlled drugs

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has issued notice to vets and practices, which advises that, as of 10th June 2014, Tramadol has been added to Schedule 3 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.

As a Schedule 3 controlled drug, Tramadol is now subject to special requirements when writing prescriptions. 

Practitioners should also note that:

  •  Prescriptions for Schedule 3 controlled drugs are only valid for 28 days and are non-repeatable.

  •  It is an offence to supply a Schedule 3 controlled drug against a fax or email prescription; the original prescription must be       obtained before the medicine is dispensed.

  •  If supplying a Schedule 3 controlled drug against another veterinary surgeon’s prescription, checks need to be made to ensure  that the prescription has come from a UK address and that the signature is genuine.

  • The date on which the drug was supplied must be marked on the prescription and the prescription retained on the practice       premises for at least five years.

  •  Although tramadol is exempt from Safe Custody Regulations, the RCVS advise that all Schedule 3 controlled drugs are locked away.

Furthermore, the Home Office has also reclassified ketamine as a Class B controlled drug.

However, it remains under Schedule 4 (Part 1) of the 2001 Regulations. meaning that the legal requirements for supply, storage and record keeping remain the same.

We therefore continue to advise that practice premises should:

    •    Record the use of ketamine in an informal register.

    •    Store ketamine in a controlled drugs cabinet.

    •    Destroy ketamine in the presence of an authorised witness.

    •    Further details about the specific requirements for controlled drugs can be found in the Veterinary Medicines Directorate’s   Guidance Note No 20 – Controlled Drugs.


For further information…

RCVS Professional Conduct Department

t +44 (0)20 7202 0789

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