Prescription medicines and controlled drugs supplied to patients by both pharmacists and prescribers (including veterinary surgeons) must be labelled in accordance with Appendix L of the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP) (external site).
Labels must be in English and include the following information:
- “KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN” (in red on a white background)
- generic or brand name of the medicine
- strength and form of the medicine
- directions for use
- total quantity in the container
- patient name
- name, address and telephone number of the supplying pharmacy/ prescriber
- date of supply.
Pharmacists must also include the prescription reference number corresponding to the record made in their dispensing system.
Where the medicine is supplied for an animal, the species of animal and the name of the animal’s owner must be on the label as well as the words “FOR ANIMAL TREATMENT ONLY”.
Where the medicine is for topical use, the words “FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY” or “POISON” must be added (in red on a white background).
Some medicines also require additional label warnings. For example, oral retinoids must have warnings about becoming pregnant.
Medicines listed in Appendix K of the SUSMP (exernal site) must be labelled with a sedation warning when supplied to patients. Pharmacy cautionary advisory label 1 or label 1A should be used.
Medicines for use only within a hospital or health care facility (for example, for administration to inpatients) do not require this additional label.