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Government announcement: Pregabalin and gabapentin to be controlled as class C drugs

Full text:

“Pre­scrip­tion drugs pre­ga­balin and gabapentin are to be reclas­si­fied as class C con­trolled sub­stances from next April, the gov­ern­ment announced today (15 October).

Today’s move comes after experts high­light­ed ris­ing num­bers of fatal­i­ties linked to the drugs. The change means it will be ille­gal to pos­sess pre­ga­balin and gabapentin with­out a pre­scrip­tion and it will be ille­gal to sup­ply or sell them 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 com­bi­na­tion with oth­er drugs.

In 2016, the Advi­so­ry Coun­cil on the Mis­use of Drugs (ACMD) raised con­cerns over med­i­c­i­nal mis­use, ille­gal diver­sion of the drugs and addic­tion, and rec­om­mend­ed that pre­ga­balin and gabapentin should be con­trolled as class C Drugs under the Mis­use of Drugs Act.

The gov­ern­ment accept­ed the ACMD’s advice and launched a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion to assess the impact on the health­care sec­tor. Phar­ma­cies, doc­tors, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies and patients respond­ed to the con­sul­ta­tion, which has been pub­lished today, back­ing the tighter con­trols of the drugs under the Mis­use of Drugs Regulations.

Reg­u­la­tions imple­ment­ing the change in law to con­trol the drugs will be laid in Par­lia­ment on Wednesday.

Min­is­ter for Crime, Safe­guard­ing and Vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty Vic­to­ria Atkins said:

Any death relat­ed to the mis­use of drugs is a tragedy. We accept­ed expert advice and will now change the law to help pre­vent mis­use of pre­ga­balin and gabapentin and addic­tion to them.

While drug mis­use is low­er now than it was 10 years ago, we remain com­mit­ted to reduc­ing it and the harm it causes.

That is why we have pub­lished a com­pre­hen­sive strat­e­gy to tack­le the illic­it drug trade, pro­tect the most vul­ner­a­ble and help those with drug depen­den­cy to recov­er and turn their lives around.

The law change will mean the drugs are still avail­able for legit­i­mate use on pre­scrip­tion, but there will be stronger con­trols in place to ensure account­abil­i­ty and min­imise the chances of pre­ga­balin and gabapentin falling into the wrong hands or being stock­piled by patients.

Doc­tors will now need to phys­i­cal­ly sign pre­scrip­tions, rather than elec­tron­ic copies being accept­ed by phar­ma­cists. In addi­tion, phar­ma­cists must dis­pense the drugs with­in 28 days of the pre­scrip­tion being written.

To ensure that there is enough lead-in time for those in the health care sec­tor to adapt to the new mea­sures, they will come into force in April 2019.”



I am eager to find relief for my shin­gles pain that has pro­gressed. The area is my scalp and it has “found” me since Octo­ber. Pain and itch­ing non stop. Gabe­pentin not help­ing, and I have grown afraid of the gos­sip about it. Flori­da physi­cians will not rx any real drugs for treat­ment any­more for pain like this.

I have in the past 6 months tried Gabapentin and am now com­ing off Pre­ga­balin. Gabapentin did noth­ing for my PHN and Allo­dy­nia and two weeks on Pre­ga­balin has had severe effects on the inten­si­ty of the pain, worse than in the 14 months since devel­op­ing shingles.
Obvi­ous­ly I haven’t been giv­en any reluef and I’m so glad I am soon going to be free from drugs, if not the pain.

I use gabapentin as a nerve pain relief and find it works real­ly well with­out any side effects

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