Gabapentin For Dogs To Be Reclassified

If you use Gabapentin for your dog’s on-going treatment, things are about to change!

From the 1st April 2019 Gabapentin, in all strengths and forms, will be reclassified by the UK government as a controlled substance.

Why The Change?

This is an attempt to combat abuse issues and prevent patient harm. It will be technically classified as a Schedule 3 controlled drug and so will be treated the same as drugs like Tramadol and Phenobarbital (Epiphen).

What Does This Mean For You, The Customer?

Unfortunately, there are going to be quite a few changes and you will need to speak with your vet about this to ensure your prescriptions are legally compliant.

  • Faxed and emailed copies will no longer be legal. A dispensary MUST have the original prescription in their possession before a dispensing can be made.
  • Repeatable prescriptions are not allowed. If your vet writes supply 100 capsules, repeat 3 times from April 1st we will not be allowed by law to process the repeats.
  • Legal validity. Prescriptions for controlled drugs are valid for 28 days from the date written and all medicine that is prescribed must be taken within those 28 days.
  • Handwriting requirements. Controlled drugs are also subject to handwriting requirements which include the following in addition to usual prescribing requirements:
    1. RCVS number of the prescribing vet
    2. Must specify the following clearly:
    3. Drug (e.g. Gabapentin)
    4. Form (e.g. Capsules)
    5. Strength (e.g. 300mg)
    6. Quantity to be supplied, in words and figures (e.g. 100, one hundred capsules)
    7. Signed in indelible ink
    4. Above all else, the prescription must be clear and specific.

You Have My Prescription / Vet-Medic Changes

Prescriptions written and dated prior to 1st April 2019 will be honoured under current rules and regulations. Prescriptions that were written on or after the 1st of April 2019 will follow the new controlled drugs regulations stated above.

We regret that if prescriptions are not written correctly, and do not adhere to the new UK prescription requirements, we will be unable to dispense medicine from them. To do so would mean we are breaking the law and unfortunately, we will need to charge £6.99 carriage in order to use a suitable courier.

Further information on the legal reclassification can be found on the PSNC website:

Whilst this primarily relates to the use of controlled drugs in the NHS, veterinary prescriptions are not exempt from these rules and regulations as laid down in the Misuse of Drugs Act 2001.

Any queries please do get in touch with us at Vet-Medic.


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