NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Area Drug and Therapeutics Committee
Greater Glasgow and Clyde Prescribing
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4 Central nervous system

4.10 Drugs used in substance dependence

4.10.1 Alcohol dependence

Total Formulary


Restricted to specialist initiation only.

Prescribing Notes:

  • Continue for up to one year, although can be continued when relapse prevention benefit is demonstrated
  • Discontinue if lack of efficacy or full relapse occurs
  • Recommended: Review of alcohol consumption and psychosocial wellbeing every 6 months

BNF Link: http://www.medicinescomplete.com/mc/bnf/current/39075.htm


Restrictions: Restricted to specialist use only.

BNF Link: http://www.medicinescomplete.com/mc/bnf/current/3687.htm


Prescribing Notes:

Nalmefene is licensed for the reduction of alcohol consumption in adult patients with alcohol dependence who have a high drinking risk level (DRL), without physical withdrawal symptoms and who do not require immediate detoxification.

Nalmefene should only be initiated if DRL remains high two weeks after an initial assessment and should only be prescribed as part of a full package of care including the provision of continuous psychosocial support by appropriate NHS personnel.  It should also be reviewed regularly. 

BNF Link: http://www.medicinescomplete.com/mc/bnf/current/PHP33532-nalmefene.htm

NALTREXONE (50mg tablets)


Restricted to specialist use (Addiction Services) according to local treatment guidelines

Prescribing Notes:

  • Treatment should continue for 6 months, or longer for those benefiting from treatment who are motivated to continue.
  • Treatment with naltrexone should be discontinued after 4 to 6 weeks if drinking persist

4.10.2 Nicotine dependence

Preferred list

Prescribing Notes:

Nicotinell® 24-hour patches are the Nicotine replacement formulation of choice. Other Nicotinell® products (i.e. lozenge or gum) can be used alone, or in combination if dual nicotine replacement is appropriate.  If a mini lozenge is required, the first choice is Niquitin Mini®.

BNF Link: http://www.medicinescomplete.com/mc/bnf/current/73679.htm#_73679



Restricted to use according to local protocol.

BNF Link: http://www.medicinescomplete.com/mc/bnf/current/129834.htm

Total Formulary

4.10.3 Opioid dependence

Preferred list

Restrictions: Excludes Eptadone®.

Prescribing Notes:

The solution strength is 1mg/ ml.

BNF Link: http://www.medicinescomplete.com/mc/bnf/current/3701.htm

Total Formulary
BUPRENORPHINE (sublingual tablets)


Restricted to specialist services (Alcohol and Drug directorate and Glasgow Addictions Services).

BNF Link: http://www.medicinescomplete.com/mc/bnf/current/78667.htm


Restrictions: Restricted to specialist services (Alcohol and Drug directorate and Glasgow Addictions Services).

BNF Link: http://www.medicinescomplete.com/mc/bnf/current/3699.htm