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Pregabalin and Gabapentin have been re-classified as class 3 controlled drugs

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Pregabalin and Gabapentin have been re-classified as class 3 controlled drugs

If you have been prescribed gabapentin (Neurontin) or pregabalin (Alzain or Lyrica), it is important to be aware that the law is changing from 1 April 2019 and these medications are being re-classified as controlled drugs.

This will affect the way in which you can get these medications. You will generally have to get a written prescription rather than picking it up electronically.

Your GP and local pharmacy will ensure you continue to get the medicines you need. Please remember to order your medicine ahead of time.

There will also be some changes to the rules. Some of these are:

  • Only 30 days' supply is 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 might not 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.

Your GP practice will make these changes before 1 April 2019.

Please remember that if you have any existing prescriptions for gabapentin or pregabalin, to collect the medicines before 1 April 2019.

Make an appointment with your GP or epilepsy specialist to discuss taking a different version of your medication.

More information

Please see the NHS England leaflet for more details.

For more information about drug shortages, particularly around Brexit, please view the contingency plans for all epilepsy medications here.

Call our helpline

If you would like to speak to someone about any issues concerning epilepsy, please call our Helpline on 01494 601400. The helpline opening hours are Monday – Tuesday, 9am-4pm and Wednesday, 9am-7:30pm. All calls are confidential.