Big Change for Tramadol

If your dog is one of our many patients who take Tramadol for pain control, please read this important information!

The US Drug Enforcement Administration has designated Tramadol as a Schedule IV controlled substance as of August 18th, 2014. Although Tramadol is not a narcotic, it produces many of the same effects and has been identified as a drug that carries the potential for drug abuse. Many of our canine patients take this drug, often along with an NSAID, to treat pain. This reclassification does not change anything for you or your pet. It is still available to our patients just as it has been, but now that it has been reclassified, we must keep it locked up at all times. Additionally, there are stringent inventory requirements on controlled drugs, which require a lot of extra staff time. Just as AHNA will incur more cost in handling Tramadol now, the manufacturers and distributors will too. For that reason, you may notice a price increase if your pet has previously been on Tramadol.  

One other change that you may notice is that we cannot dispense or prescribe more than the original prescription and five refills (not to exceed 6 months of use). If your pet takes Tramadol regularly, you will be required to call in for a new prescription every six months. Your pet’s veterinarian has to review the medical records and approve a renewal of the prescription, so please call at least a day in advance if you need a prescription renewed to allow enough time for this review. Refills within the six  months after the prescription is approved do not require a doctor review, but we still ask that you give us at least 3 hours to prepare the prescription before you pick up your refill. Of course, at your pet’s annual exam or any sick visit, the prescription can be renewed as well, as long as it is medically indicated. Finally, be aware that when you come in to pick up a prescription that you called in earlier and that is ready for pickup, it may still take a few minutes because it must be retrieved from a locked safe.

We appreciate your understanding as we comply with these new DEA regulations on Tramadol.