From the FL Nurse Practitioner Network: DEA moves Tramadol to a Schedule IV class
DEA Publishes Final Rules Rescheduling Tramadol to Schedule IV
Effective August 18, 2014 The US Drug Enforcement Administration today published its Final Rule in the Federal Register placing tramadol into Schedule IV effective August 18, 2014.
A number of states in the country including Arkansas, Mississippi and New York have already placed tramadol as a controlled substance.
Acknowledging that changes such as these take time to implement, the DEA extended the usual effective date for this type of change from 30 to 45 days to provide what it considers to be "reasonable time for registrants to comply with handling requirements for a schedule IV" drug, such as moving tramadol products into a warehouse cage or adjusting suspicious monitoring systems to include tramadol orders.
Effective August 18, 2014 all manufacturers will be required to print the designation "C-IV" on every bottle and it is unlawful for commercial containers of tramadol to be distributed without that designation. In addition, all DEA registrants will be required to take an inventory of all tramadol stock in compliance with 21 C.F.R. § 1304.11(d).
As a friendly reminder, Florida ARNPs are not authorized to prescribe controlled substances and thus cannot initiate, scribe, order or have this authority delegated by a DEA licensed professional to prescribe a controlled substance in any class. This will seriously impact your practice as this has been a standby alternate medication for relief of moderate pain. Please discuss this with your colleagues and protocol physician today. Also suggest you write and call your local legislator and tell them that after 20 years of building this barrier, it must come down! If this state truly supports treating patients properly for all medical conditions as evidenced by the recent fever for passing medical marijuana, they need also to support NPs to continue to deliver safe & quality healthcare!