Pharmacy Clinical Pearl of the Day: Controlled Substances Schedules

Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as medications with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

Clinical Pearl of the Day: Controlled Substances Schedules

There are 5 scheduled classes of controlled substances per Drug Enforcement Agency.

Explanation:

  • Schedule I: Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
    • Examples: heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote.
  • Schedule II: Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous.
    • Examples: Combination products with less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin), cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin.
  • Schedule III: Schedule III drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Schedule III drug abuse potential is less than Schedule I and Schedule II drugs but more than Schedule IV.
    • Examples: Products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine), ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone.
  • Schedule IV: Schedule IV drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence.
    • Examples: Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien, and Tramadol.
  • Schedule V: Schedule V drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes.
    • Examples: cough preparations with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or per 100 milliliters (Robitussin AC), Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, Parepectolin.

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