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Gwinnett Forsyth Chapter United Advanced Practice Registered Nurses

Rescheduling of Tramadol and Hydrocodone as controlled substances

Posted about 4 years ago by Julie Hannah

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has officially declared tramadol as a Class IV substance, with the new scheduling starting August 18, 2014. Therefore APRNs without DEA numbers can no longer prescribe this medication.  Brand names include: Ultram, Ultram ER, and Ultracet.

Hydrocodone combination products will also be rescheduled from schedule III to schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act, effective October 6, 2014. This means that APRNs in Georgia can no longer prescribe hydrocodone in any form. Brand names include pain medication such as Norco, Lortab, Lorcet, Vicodin, Vicoprofen and cough medications such as Tussionex, Histussin HC, Hycotuss, Hydromet, Hycodan, etc.

For further info:

REMEMBER it is illegal to have a physician write a narcotic prescription for your patient, unless the M.D. also saw that patient the same day.  Per the Board of Medical Examiners, APRNs can not "use" the DEA number of their collaborating physician, but must have their own number if they will be prescribing controlled substances.  It doesn't matter if your collaborating M.D. says is "ok" - on the witness stand all that matters is if you obeyed the federal and state laws.

Julie Hannah, FNP-C, Vice Pres.


Debi Gass about 4 years ago

Thanks for the info, Julie! I wonder in how many states can NPs write for schedule II controlled substances. I can't see that happening in Georgia any time soon. --Debi

Julie Hannah almost 4 years ago

I count 42 states that allow NPs to prescribe level 2 per the DEA:

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