Q. What did this law change for prescribing opioid drugs for acute pain?
A. The law limits the opioid prescription amount your doctor can prescribe for you for the treatment of acute pain.
Q. What did not change?
A. Treatment standards for chronic nonmalignant pain, non acute pain, cancer, palliative care, terminal
illness, and medical conditions not related to pain.
Q. What is acute pain?
A. Acute pain is a medical diagnosis by your doctor.
Q. Why is my prescription only for 3 days (or 7 days)?
A. a. Under the law (Chapter 2018-13, Laws of Florida), most opioid prescriptions for acute pain have been limited to a 3 – day supply.
b. Under special circumstances identified by your practitioner, a prescription can be increased to a 7 –
Q. Why did my doctor write “NON-ACUTE PAIN” on my prescription?
A. You were diagnosed by your doctor to have non-acute pain or chronic nonmalignant pain and your
prescription for an opioid drug does not have to be limited to the 3-7 day supply.
Q. If my prescriber fails to include the required information on the prescription, may the pharmacist confirm with the prescriber and write it on the prescription?
A. YES! Talk to your pharmacist.
If a prescription for a Schedule II controlled substance does not meet the requirements as specified in
the law, the pharmacist should follow their current standard policy and procedures by contacting the
Updated as of: 7/19/2018
prescriber to verify written information contained within the prescription. Any deviation or change in
the prescription should be promptly reduced to writing and properly annotated based on your
pharmacist’s current practice.
Q. What is a prescribing practitioner?
A. Physicians, dentists, podiatrists, certified optometrists, ARNPs, and PAs are prescribing practitioners.
Q. Does the law say that I can't continue to get medication I take for a chronic or terminal painful condition?
A. The standards for treating chronic non-malignant pain or a terminal condition have not changed.
STATEMENT: My doctor says he/she is following federal law and cannot continue to prescribe the same medication
I’ve used for many years.
Your physician may have chosen to follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines and
recommendations from the DEA.
BUT Florida’s new controlled substance law did not change the standards for prescribing medication for
chronic non-malignant pain.
The Florida Department of Health encourages you to discuss these matters with your physician so you
can work together and continue to pursue a course of treatment that manages your pain and provides
quality of life.
STATEMENT: My pharmacy told me that there is a limit on painkiller pills to cover a maximum of seven days and it
will also limit a day's total dose, even if my prescription is for more than that.
For prescriptions for acute pain, the pharmacy may have chosen to follow the federal Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. If there is a difference in the dosage prescribed and
the amount the pharmacy will fill, the Florida Department of Health encourages you to discuss these
matters with your physician so you can work together and continue to pursue a course of treatment
that manages your pain and provides quality of life.
STATEMENT & QUESTION: My doctor said that he/she is following the Board of Medicine law about how much pain medicine he/she can prescribe. What law is that?
A. On the Board of Medicine website, you and your physician can find Rule 64B8-9.013, Standards for the
Use of Controlled Substances for the Treatment of Pain. The link to the rule is at
http://flboardofmedicine.gov/resources/. Select Florida Statutes & Administrative Codes then select
Chapter 64B8: Board of Medicine.