Non medical prescribing in Scotland: implementation guide

Implementation guidance for nurse independent prescribers and for community practitioner nurse prescribers in Scotland.

Appendix 9: Controlled drugs

Nurse independent prescribers can prescribe any licensed medicine for any medical condition, including some controlled drugs. They are able to prescribe the following list of Controlled Drugs, solely for the medical conditions indicated:

  • diamorphine, morphine, diazepam, lorazepam, midazolam, or oxycodone for use in palliative care;
  • buprenorphine or fentanyl for transdermal use in palliative care;
  • diazepam, lorazepam, midazolam for the treatment of tonic-clonic seizures;
  • diamorphine or morphine for pain relief in respect of suspected myocardial infarction, or for relief of acute or severe pain after trauma including in either case post-operative pain relief;
  • chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride or diazepam for treatment of initial or acute withdrawal symptoms, caused by the withdrawal of alcohol from persons habituated to it;
  • codeine phosphate, dihydrocodeine tartrate or co-phenotrope (no restrictions on medical conditions).

Details of the appropriate route of administration for these Controlled Drugs can be found in the table below:


Route of administration


Transdermal administration in palliative care

Chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride


Codeine phosphate




Diamorphine hydrochloride

Oral or parenteral


Oral, parenteral or rectal

Dihydrocodeine Tartrate



Transdermal administration in palliative care


Oral or parenteral


Parenteral or buccal

Morphine hydrochloride


Morphine sulphate

Oral, parenteral or rectal

Oxycodone hydrochloride

Oral or parenteral administration in palliative care

N.B. Check with the Pharmacy Division for any changes to this guidance

Back to top