Important Changes to the Medicines and Poisons Act

30 September 2021

Recently, there have been some important changes to the regulations for the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 (Medicines and Poisons Act).

Key changes and points for dentists to be aware of include:

  1. There are now new classes of drugs which include: restricted medicines, high-risk medicines, diversion risk medicines and monitored medicines.  
  2. Dentists are now able to access Q-Script (the Queensland Health real-time prescription monitoring system) portal and from 28 October 2021 will be required to check the patient’s record in Q-Script before prescribing or giving a treatment dose (supply) of a monitored medicine.  Monitored medicines include: 
    • all schedule 8 medicines
    • various schedule 4 medicines including all benzodiazepines, codeine and tramadol.
  3. There is a new requirement that all prescriptions for monitored medicines must include the date of birth of the patient.
  4. The Schedule 8 medicines that a dentist may prescribe and administer have been updated to reflect current therapeutic guidelines for the treatment of dental pain. A dentist may prescribe up to 3 days’ supply (with no repeats) of the following Schedule 8 medicines, in their immediate release formulation: codeine, hydromorphone, morphine and oxycodone.  
  5. Dentists are no longer permitted to administer papaveretum, pentazocine and pethidine. However, a dentist who is endorsed for conscious sedation may administer fentanyl or pethidine.
  6. Prescribers may not self-prescribe a high-risk medicine.
  7. Only dentists may give a treatment dose (supply) medicines to their patients. This includes supply of Schedule 3 high concentration sodium fluoride toothpaste.


We recommend all dental practitioners review the Queensland Health Key Legislative fact sheet here to understand the changes, or review the regulations here.

If you have any questions, ADA provides members with access to a Pharma Advice service. To access the service, simply complete the online form here. Alternatively, if you need urgent information, please contact Dr Geraldine Moses directly on 0419 752 528 (Monday - Friday 9am-5pm only).

You can also contact the ADAQ Compliance, Advice and policy team for general advice on 07 3252 9866 or via email at [email protected].