Restrictions on supply of certain controlled drugs

This page describes the additional prescribing restrictions on certain controlled drugs, under regulation 22 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1977.

Commonly prescribed medicines with additional restrictions are:

  • ephedrine
  • pseudoephedrine
  • dexamphetamine
  • methylphenidate.

Without a specific Ministerial approval for the individual prescriber and patient these medicines may only be dispensed:

  1. on prescription by medical practitioners registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. Depending on the drug, there may be other restrictions on who can prescribe it
  2. by pharmacists registered with the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003.

Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine

The following restrictions apply to all ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.

  1. Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine may only be prescribed by registered medical practitioners.
  2. Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine can be dispensed at any community or hospital pharmacy.
  3. Any person responsible for the care of a patient on ephedrine or pseudoephedrine may administer it in accordance with the prescriber’s directions.

Dexamphetamine

The following restrictions apply to all dexamphetamine products.

  1. Dexamphetamine may only be prescribed by:
    • registered medical practitioners certified with a vocational scope of practice in paediatrics or psychiatry
    • registered medical practitioners certified with a vocational scope of practice in internal medicine, only for the treatment of narcolepsy.
    • any other registered medical practitioner when acting on the written recommendation of one of the vocational medical practitioners described above.
  2. Prescriptions written by a medical practitioner other than the vocational medical practitioner require the name of the appropriate vocational medical practitioner to be endorsed on the prescription.
  3. Any other medical practitioner has to apply for Ministerial approval to prescribe dexamphetamine (applications should be sent to Medicines Control).
  4. Dexamphetamine can be dispensed at any community or hospital pharmacy.
  5. Any person responsible for the care of a patient on dexamphetamine may administer it in accordance with the prescriber's directions.

Methylphenidate

The following restrictions apply to all methylphenidate products.

  1. Methylphenidate may only be prescribed:
    1. for the treatment of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by registered medical practitioners with a vocational scope of practice in paediatrics or psychiatry
    2. for the treatment of narcolepsy by registered medical practitioners with a vocational scope of practice in internal medicine
    3. for use in palliative care treatment by registered medical with a vocational scope of practice in palliative medicine
    4. by any other registered medical practitioner when acting on the written recommendation of one of the vocational medical practitioners described above, for the conditions specified.
  2. Methylphenidate can be dispensed at any community or hospital pharmacy.
  3. Any person responsible for the care of a patient on methylphenidate may administer it in accordance with the prescriber's directions.
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