The Controlled Substance Act regulates how drugs are administered and whether they are legal to possess and sell. This guide outlines where gabapentin and pregabalin fall under the Controlled Substances Act.

Gabapentin controlled substance status

Gabapentin and pregabalin were previously unregulated substances. As of the 1st of April 2019, Gabapentin is a Schedule 3 Controlled Substance under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001. 

This means that prescriptions for these drugs require additional restrictions before administering. 

The main restrictions on Schedule 3 drugs like gabapentin are the length of time a prescription can be filled after it has been made, in this case not exceeding 28 days, and the quantity that is prescribed. Gabapentin cannot be administered in an emergency supply format and a valid prescription form must be presented when collecting from a pharmacy.

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Schedule 3 drugs have certain regulations that must be upheld, especially if provided by medical staff such as in a care home setting. 

Gabapentin restrictions:

  • Schedule 3 drugs like gabapentin do not need to be stored in a drug cupboard or safe custody box.

  • Gabapentin does not need to be recorded in the controlled drug register when administered.

  • Facilities that provide gabapentin do not need to record administration nor keep the drug in a secure location but may wish to do so in order to maintain control of quantities for auditing purposes. 

  • Gabapentin may cause respiratory depression and should be administered carefully to those at risk, including those aged over 65.

Gabapentin addiction

Whether gabapentin is addictive or not is widely contested. Visit our guide for more information on gabapentin abuse, side effects, treatment, and addiction potential.