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Gabapentin Scheduled as Controlled Substance to help with State's Opioid Epidemic

Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280

January 9, 2019 – In an effort to continue to combat the opioid epidemic in Michigan, the Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), with the support of the Michigan Board of Pharmacy, has modified its Pharmacy Rules to categorize Gabapentin as a Schedule 5 controlled substance.

Gabapentin – or Neurontin – is a medication commonly used to treat nerve pain and seizures. However, the drug can have potentially harmful effects when combined with other opioids. Michigan joins a growing number of states that have scheduled Gabapentin as a controlled substance.

“Using a data-driven approach, we identified Gabapentin as an emerging threat in our state and took necessary action to protect Michigan residents,” said LARA Director Orlene Hawks. “The scheduling of Gabapentin and improved training requirements for licensees outlined in these rule changes will continue to assist our efforts to curtail the opioid epidemic in Michigan while enhancing awareness about opioid addiction.”

The rule changes also improve training standards for prescribers and dispensers of opioids and controlled substances. The new rules require an individual seeking a controlled substance license to complete a training in opioids and controlled substances awareness that addresses: integration of treatments, alternative pain management treatments, counseling patients on the effects and risks associated with using controlled substances, stigma of addiction, proper disposal requirements for prescriptions, utilizing the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS), and state and federal controlled substance dispensing laws.

The complete Pharmacy – Controlled Substances rule set is available online at

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