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Controlled drugs are subject to additional legal controls as they carry a higher risk of being misused or causing harm

You can find a list of controlled drugs commonly encountered in practice on the Home Office website.

There are certain restrictions on who can administer controlled drugs under PGDs. More information is set out on the Specialist Pharmacy Service website.

There are also restrictions for prescribers. Supplementary prescribers can prescribe controlled drugs, but only in accordance with a service user’s clinical management plan. Independent prescribers cannot prescribe controlled drugs unless extra laws have been passed which allow their profession to do so.

Chiropodist/podiatrist, paramedic, physiotherapist and therapeutic radiographer independent prescribers may prescribe from a limited list of controlled drugs.

As of the 31st December 2023, legislation introduced by the Home Office permits paramedic independent prescribers and therapeutic independent prescribers to prescribe and administer a number of specified controlled drugs. See table below for further information. 

The controlled drug must be prescribed to be administered by the specified method.

    • Diazepam by oral administration
    • Dihydrocodeine by oral administration
    • Lorazepam by oral administration
    • Temazepam by oral administration
    • Morphine sulphate by oral administration or by injection;
    • Diazepam by oral administration or by injection;
    • Midazolam by oromucosal administration or by injection;
    • Lorazepam by injection; and
    • Codeine phosphate by oral administration
    • Diazepam by oral administration
    • Dihydrocodeine by oral administration
    • Fentanyl by transdermal administration
    • Lorazepam by oral administration
    • Morphine by oral administration or by injection
    • Oxycodone by oral administration
    • Temazepam by oral administration
    • Tramadol by oral administration;
    • Lorazepam by oral administration;
    • Diazepam by oral administration;
    • Morphine by oral administration or by injection;
    • Oxycodone by oral administration; and
    • Codeine by oral administration

Pregabalin and gabapentin
From midnight on 1st April 2019, Gabapentin and Pregabalin were reclassified as Schedule 3 controlled drugs. This means HCPC registered prescribers can no longer independently prescribe these medicines. Read our joint statement on this change here

Page updated on: 25/03/2021
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