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Regulatory requirements and resources

There are various regulatory requirements under the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 regarding the prescribing of scheduled drugs of dependence (Schedule 8 (S8)), including script requirements, and approvals/reports to the Chief Executive for the treatment of patients with known drug dependency.

Treatment involving drugs of dependence

You need to obtain an approval if you wish to treat a:


Requirements for a valid Schedule 8 (S8) script:

  • S8 prescriptions are valid for 6 months
  • S8 prescriptions are valid if the following is provided:
    • full name, professional qualifications and address of the prescriber
    • full name, address and date of birth of the patient
  • The following information must be included in a valid S8 prescription. In addition, for computer generated S8 paper prescriptions this information must be written in the doctor's own handwriting:
    • the description and quantity (in words and figures) of the medicines to be dispensed
    • adequate directions for use
    • number of repeats (if any) and intervals at which they may be dispensed
    • words "specified condition" if the S8 drug prescribed is amphetamine, dexamfetamine, methylamphetamine, methylphenidate or lisdexamfetamine
    • signature of the prescriber.
  • Only one S8 medication can be written on a prescription, except where multiple items are different forms of the same drug
  • No other prescription medication can be written on an S8 prescription
  • S8 prescriptions must not be written by a prescriber for self-administration.
  • Pharmacists can dispense an interstate S8 scripts as long as it fulfils these requirements.
  • Dispensing quantity and frequency (PDF 190 kB) your obligations to report occasions when you are asked to dispense more medications than appears to be reasonably necessary.


Telephone: 13 S8INFO (13 78 46)
Fax: 07 3708 5431

Last updated: 28 January 2021

Schedule 8 medicines

Drugs of dependence are prescription medicines that have a recognised therapeutic need but also a higher potential for misuse, abuse and dependence. The Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP) classifies medicines into different schedules.

Queensland regulation requires certain persons to obtain an approval or licence to perform certain regulated activities with Schedule 8 medicines (drugs of dependence) in Queensland.