Stimulant medicines

The prescribing of Schedule 8 stimulant medicines is restricted in Western Australia. Stimulants include:

  • dexamfetamine
  • lisdexamfetamine
  • methylphenidate.

Prescribers must have prior approval from the Department of Health to prescribe these medicines. Only certain specialist medical practitioner groups may become approved stimulant prescribers. To apply for approval to prescribe stimulant medicines a prescriber must complete the Application for Prescriber Authorisation: Stimulant medicines form (Word 818KB). Other medical practitioners may be appointed as co-prescribers.

All prescribing must be in accordance with the Schedule 8 Medicines Prescribing Code (the Code) (PDF 261KB). The Guidance Note: Prescribing stimulant medicines (Word 272KB) provides a summary of the requirements for prescribing stimulant medicines in Western Australia.

Notification

A patient may only be under treatment with stimulants by one approved stimulant prescriber at a time. Before commencing treatment a prescriber must notify the Department of Health using the Notification of treatment: Stimulant medicines form (Word 833KB).

When the Department receives a new notification for an existing patient this cancels all existing notifications. The Department will inform the previous stimulant prescriber.

When prescribers are ceasing treatment with stimulants a form for termination should be submitted.

Authorisation

Any treatment that is outside the Schedule 8 Medicines Prescribing Code (PDF 268KB) requires prior authorisation by the Department of Health for each individual patient. Circumstances requiring approval in the Code include:

  • unapproved conditions
  • non-specialist prescribers
  • exceeding maximum treatment doses
  • any child under 4 and prescribers who specialise in adults wishing to treat children
  • patients with psychiatric co-morbidities or substance abuse.

Applications must be submitted by an approved stimulant prescriber using the Application for authorisation: Stimulant medicines form (Word 1.62 MB). Applications must include treatment rationale, evidence to support unapproved indications, urine drug screens and other materials as specified. All applications are assessed by the Stimulant Assessment Panel.

Interim (non-specialist) authorisation

In emergency circumstances, where a patient’s approved stimulant prescriber is not available, other medical practitioners may apply for short-term authority to prescribe. Authority may be provided where there are exceptional circumstances, to maintain continuity of treatment. This may include interstate and overseas travellers or persons already under treatment who are relocating to WA.

To apply, medical practitioners must complete the Application for interim authorisation: Stimulant medicines form (Word 816KB) and include:

  • name of specialist and patient appointment; and/or
  • evidence of current treatment and information on primary condition for interstate and overseas patients.
Stimulant induced psychosis

The Health (Notification of Stimulant Induced Psychosis) Regulations 2010 (external site) requires medical practitioners to notify the Department of any person believed to have stimulant induced psychosis.

To notify the Department the medical practitioner must use the Notification: Stimulant induced psychosis form (Word 809KB).

Stimulant clinics

A clinic at a health service facility may apply to become an approved stimulant clinic. This allows any approved stimulant practitioners at the clinic to prescribe for a notified patient, from time to time, without needing to re-notify.

Clinics must nominate a senior member of staff or an approved specialist to advise the Department of prescriber movements at the clinic.

Clinic prescribers must otherwise adhere to the Schedule 8 Medicines Prescribing Code and notify the Department of Health at commencement of treatment for each patient.

An Application for Public Sector Clinic form (Word 795KB) must be completed to register a clinic.

Annual report

The Western Australian Stimulant Regulatory Scheme 2015 Annual Report (PDF 6.6MB) presents data generated through the implementation of the Stimulant Regulatory Scheme.

The Department is currently reviewing the content and structure of annual stimulant reports.

More information

Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch
Mailing address: PO Box 8172, Perth Business Centre, WA 6849
Phone: 9222 2483
Email: stimulants@health.wa.gov.au