controlled drug prescription

Last edited 03/2018

From Monday 14th November 2005 you are required to ensure that all prescriptions for controlled drugs:

  • are written indelibly
  • be in ink or otherwise indelible
  • be signed in the prescriber's own handwriting and dated (NB date does not have to be handwritten)
  • specify the prescriber's address
  • state the name and address of the patient (and age if under 12 years) (2,3)
  • state the name and form of the drug (e.g. capsules), even if only one form exists
  • state the strength of the preparation, where more than one strength is available
  • state the dose
  • state the total quantity of the preparation, or the number of dose units, in both words and figures (except for temazepam)
  • if issued by a dentist, state the words 'for dental treatment only'.

Note that all details, except for the signature, no longer have to be handwritten.


  1. Letter from Head of Medicines Management Coventry PCT (November 14th 2005). Requirement to handwrite CD prescriptions abolished
  2. National Prescribing Centre (December 2005). A guide to good practice in the management of controlled drugs in primary care (England)
  3. MeReC Extra (January 2006):20:2.