Resources & Information


DEA makes tramadol a Schedule IV drug

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has published a Final Rule that switches tramadol from a legend drug to a Schedule IV controlled substance, effective August 18, 2014.

As of the effective date, all drug manufacturers will be required to print the designation “C-IV” on every bottle of medication and it will be unlawful for commercial containers of tramadol to be distributed without that designation. In addition, all DEA registrants will be required to take an inventory of all tramadol stock.

Tramadol’s new status may have implications for some licensees who may prescribe the drug to family members or to themselves.

According to administrative rules 32B .1001, 32s .0212, and 32M .0109 licensees are expressly prohibited to prescribe controlled substances to themselves or to immediate family members. The Board’s position statement entitled, “Self-treatment and treatment of family,” cautions against treating and prescribing for oneself and for immediate family members except in emergencies or for minor, acute illnesses. Licensees who may have self-prescribed tramadol in such circumstances should be advised that doing so will be prohibited once the drug’s new status is in effect.

To read the DEA’s Final Rule regarding tramadol, visit

What is a Schedule IV drug?
Schedule IV drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence.

Some examples of Schedule IV drugs are: Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien

Source: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration