Tramadol is now a Schedule IV
On August 18, 2014, tramadol became a Schedule IV Controlled Substance (Federal Register, July 2, 2014, Rules and Regulations
). According to the Pharmacists Manual
, "When a drug not previously listed as a controlled substance is scheduled or a drug is rescheduled, the drug must be inventoried as of the effective date of scheduling or change in scheduling." All prescriptions must meet the requirements of a C-IV on August 18, 2014. Best practice would be to obtain a new prescription for existing orders.
Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
The next National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is September 27, 2014, from 10 am to 2 pm. For more information, visit the DEA website
New Restrictions on Hydrocodone
The new rules mean that drugs like Vicodin, Lortab, and other generic versions will be subject to the same prescribing rules as painkillers like codeine and oxycodone. Patients will be limited to one 90-day supply of medication and will have to see a health care professional to get a refill. In many states prescribing authority will be limited to physicians, not nurses or physician assistants. See Final Rule