Care needs to be taken when prescribing opioids.

Restrictions on prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances:

(1) the prescription must be dated with the date written

(2) it can have no more than a 1-month supply

(3) it cannot be called into a pharmacy

(4) it cannot have refills

(5) it is valid for up to 60 days


Schedule III, IV and V controlled substances:

(1) can be called in to the pharmacy

(2) can have refills for up to 6 months


Prescriptions for controlled substances:

(1) should be recorded in the medical record

(2) should be e-prescribed whenever possible

(3) should include date written, desired fill date, dose, quantity and expected duration of use

(4) should provide enough medication to last until the next office visit

(5) for Schedule III, IV and V controlled substances with refills, specify the refill dates (to prevent early refills)


The office should have policies to support safe prescription practices:

(1) Prescriptions for refills should require a face-to-face visit.

(2) Prescriptions should not be refilled by on-call providers.

(3) Avoid having the prescription end on weekends or holiday.

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