Changes in Controlled Substance Schedules
There have been very recent changes in laws and rules at the state and federal level regarding controlled substances in an attempt to impact opioid/narcotic use and misuse. The Louisiana State Board of Nursing (LSBN) sent an email on July 17, 2014 to all APRNs licensed in Louisiana who hold prescriptive authority detailing changes in laws regarding Soma and Tramadol. There have also been changes in the classification of hydrocodone products.
In the state of Louisiana, Act 397 (SB 618) became effective August 1, 2014. This law moves carisoprodol (Soma) products within the Louisiana Uniform Controlled Substances Law from the category of Schedule IV into Schedule II which is more restrictive. The only exception relates to a combination product with codeine. For more details, see the LSBN website http://www.lsbn.state.la.us under the "News & Events" tab as well as the following link to the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy: http://www.pharmacy.la.gov/assets/docs/Bulletins/Bulletin_14-03.pdf.
In addition, a federal rule became effective August 18, 2014 which places tramadol (Ultram) products into Schedule IV of the federal list of controlled substances. This product was previously a non-controlled substance and can no longer be prescribed by APRNs in Louisiana for the management of chronic, non-cancer related pain.
Finally, on August 21, 2014, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced it will move most hydrocodone products from Schedule III to Schedule II, which is more restrictive. This will go into effect October 6, 2014. For further details, see http://www.justice.gov/dea/divisions/hq/2014/hq082114.shtml.
APRNs who do not have controlled substance privileges can no longer prescribe tramadol (Ultram). APRNs licensed in Louisiana who do not have full Schedule II authority will not be able to prescribe the substances that are now classified within that schedule. APRNs who have a need for initial or additional controlled substance privileges in order to provide appropriate services within their patient population may apply to obtain the privileges by following the instructions and filling out the application , " Initial Request of Controlled Substances, or a Change in DEA Schedule Level for Controlled Substances ", which is on our website under the advanced practice registered nurse applications. The link is at http://www.lsbn.state.la.us/Portals/1/Documents/Forms/CS.pdf. Contact the credentialing department at (225) 755-7520 if you have additional questions.
LSBN will not automatically update APRNs prescribing schedules. You must submit the document requesting the change.
Jennifer Alleman, APRN, FNP, BC
APRN Compliance Officer
Louisiana State Board of Nursing
17373 Perkins Rd
Baton Rouge, LA 70810
(225) 755-7518 (office)
(225) 755-7581 (fax)