Do you ever wonder as you write a prescription how many controlled substances is too many? What number of prescriptions will cause you to be red flagged as an over prescriber? Whenever I write a prescription for a codeine-containing cough syrup or a narcotic pain killer, a little alarm bell sounds in my head.

Working in the emergency department I treat patients for fractures, extensive lacerations, and abscesses, many of which warrant a script for such medications. But, prescribing these meds everyday makes me a bit nervous. I know I am unaware of all the potential legal implications that go along with controlled substance prescribing.

Fortunately, attorney Alex Fisher was able to help me out. Alex works a lot with nurse practitioners who find themselves in sticky legal situations here in Tennessee. Many of her cases center around issues with prescribing. We met one evening after work to chat about the problems NPs commonly encounter with prescribing controlled substances and I hung on her every word.

After talking with her I felt much better about the way I personally prescribe controlled medications. She also alerted me to a few actions I can take as a nurse practitioner to make sure I continue prescribing responsibly. Since she had so much great advice to offer, I asked if she would be willing to share her insights with ThriveAP readers. Graciously, she agreed. Here’s what she had to say.




What other questions do you have about prescribing controlled substances? Let us know by posting a comment and we’ll get you an answer. 


If you find yourself facing disciplinary action as a nurse practitioner, or simply have a legal question, Alex Fisher can be reached at afisher@fbtlaw.com or (615) 251-5594. She enjoys helping NPs and would be happy to answer your questions.



Did you find this ThriveAP video segment helpful? View more ThriveAP video content by logging on to MyThriveAP and clicking the eCourses link.


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