According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, rates for unauthorized prescription drug use in 2009 nearly equaled rates for illegal drug use. In an effort to maintain some degree of control over potentially harmful drugs, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issues guidelines for identifying and controlling certain types of drugs. As one of 5 different drug classes, the Schedule 3 narcotics list includes specific drugs that carry an identified level of risk for abuse.
U.S. Drug Policy
While lots of money flows through the illegal drug market, the market for licensed pharmaceuticals carries just as much potential for profit. Laws and regulations surrounding prescription drugs work to prevent illegal manufacturing and distribution practices. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 sets the parameters for which drugs fall within the “prescription drug” classification.
The five schedules or drug classes were put into place by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Each class of drugs carries a certain abuse potential that decreases with each successive class schedule. For example, Schedule 1 drugs hold the highest potential for abuse and dependency while the Schedule 5 drugs hold the lowest. The Schedule 3 narcotics list consists of drugs that hold a mild to moderate abuse potential. With the exception of Schedule 1 drugs, each class of drugs also holds certain accepted medical treatment uses.
Regulations surrounding controlled substances require authorized manufacturers and distributors to be licensed to handle the different drug classes with some classes requiring specialized licensing. Regulatory requirements extend to pharmacies, pharmacists as well as doctors and hospitals. As Schedule 3 narcotics list drugs carry a moderate risk of abuse, certain licensing requirements do apply for the people and agencies that handle these drugs.
Schedule 3 Narcotics List
Each drug schedule follows certain guidelines concerning accepted medical uses, potential for abuse and potential for dependence. Drugs on the Schedule 3 narcotics list mainly consist of steroids, diet drugs and a few actual narcotic medications. This drug class includes both prescription and over-the-counter medications. No illegal or “street drugs” appear on the Schedule 3 narcotics list.
The Schedule 3 narcotics list includes the following drug types:
- Tylenol with Codeine
Vicodin and Tylenol with Codeine drugs must meet certain specifications in terms of ingredient amounts. Vicodin doses must contain no more than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per unit. Tylenol with Codeine does must contain no more than 90 milligrams of codeine per unit.
Packaging and Distribution Requirements
Regulations regarding Schedule 3 narcotics list drugs provide guidelines for packaging that must be adhered to by manufacturers, practitioners and pharmacies. Prescriptions for Schedule 3 drugs can only be written by licensed medical practitioners, dentists, optometrists and veterinarians. All forms of drug packaging for Schedule 3 narcotics list drugs must display an “Rx-only” legend.
As each drug carries its own set of accepted and known medical uses, a drug can only be prescribed to treat certain corresponding conditions as listed under federal guidelines. Certain regulations also apply for over-the-counter Schedule 3 drugs in terms of types of ingredients and dosage amounts.