All prescribing of methadone requires prior authorisation of the Department of Health.
Methadone is a high-risk, potent opioid, with complex pharmacokinetics. Deaths attributed to methadone are linked to prescribing by inexperienced practitioners, lack of consideration of the long and variable half-life, and use of inappropriately high doses. Dose conversion and titration between methadone and other opioids is complex and should be discussed with a pain specialist or pain management clinic.
All prescribing of flunitrazepam requires the prior authorisation of the Department of Health.
For an authorisation to be considered, applications must be accompanied by evidence support from a consultant medical practitioner in a relevant specialist field.
All prescribing of alprazolam requires the prior authorisation of the Department of Health.
Concerns of widespread abuse and misuse of alprazolam led to the recent inclusion of this benzodiazepine in Schedule 8. Alprazolam is no longer considered first-line treatment or suitable for long-term management of anxiety or panic disorder. Alprazolam is also associated with significant adverse effects including over sedation, falls, cognitive impairment, dependence, toxicity and death.