NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Area Drug and Therapeutics Committee
Greater Glasgow and Clyde Medicines
Medicines Update

Temazepam prescribing change 01/06/15

For many years, temazepam has been in the anomalous position where although a schedule 3 Controlled Drug (CD), it has been exempt from the prescription writing requirements that apply to all other schedule 2 and 3 CDs. The Home Office has recently published The Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) (No. 2) (England, Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2015 which includes details on a variety of changes being made to CD legislation.


From 1st June 2015:

 Temazepam will no longer be exempt from CD prescription writing requirements. All prescriptions must state

  • The drug, form and strength, eg temazepam 10mg tablets
  • the total quantity to be supplied; written in both words and figures, eg 28 (twenty eight)
  • the dose, eg 1 tablet at night. “As directed” is not permitted as a dose.
  • Any instalment directions must include the amount to be supplied and the interval to be observed between supplies, eg supply 7 tablets every Monday
  • All other prescription requirements, eg date, patient details and prescriber's signature must also be included.
  • EMIS® and INPS Vision® (the GP prescribing system suppliers) will update their systems before the change.
  • Hospital prescribers must ensure any discharge / pass / outpatient prescriptions comply with the legislation.


Dispensing prescriptions for CDs which do not meet the legal requirements

  • If a prescription is received which otherwise meets the legal requirements, but has a minor typographical error or only has the quantity in words or in figures, a technical amendment can be made to allow dispensing.
  • A pharmacist may add either the words or the figures to the CD prescription if they have been omitted or can correct a typographical error. All other errors must be rectified by the prescriber before dispensing. 
  • The pharmacist must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt, having exercised due diligence that the prescription is genuine and that they are supplying the drug in accordance with the intention of the prescriber. They must make any correction indelible so as to be attributable to the pharmacist to ensure it is readily identifiable for the audit trail.


There are a number of other changes being made which affect prisons, ambulances, non-medical prescribers and midwives. Full details from the Controlled Drugs Accountable Officers’ Network (Scotland).


The Home Office has also announced that ketamine will become a schedule 2 CD in November 2015 with full requirements for safe storage, record keeping, requisitions etc. More details will follow nearer the date of implementation.