New RCVS Prescribing Regulations For Prescription Only Medications

What are the new guidelines?

From September 2023, the Royal College of veterinary Surgeons (RCVS, the regulatory body for the veterinary profession in the UK), introduced new guidelines on issuing Prescription-Only Medicines. The new rules are aimed at ensuring responsible use of medications and reducing impact on the issues of antibiotic resistance and decline of insect populations.

These guidelines state that all patients must be seen for an in-person consultation when prescribing antiparasiticides, antibiotics, antivirals or antifungals.

What does this mean for you and your pet?

Your pet must be seen in-person if they have or are suspected to have:

  • A skin infection
  • An eye infection
  • An ear infection
  • A urine infection (urine testing alone is no longer sufficient without a patient examination)
  • Any other condition that may require antibiotics.

These rules apply even for ongoing or recurring conditions


To issue prescription flea, worm and tick treatment, your pet must be seen yearly, or if your pet is changed to a different product. This exmination can be included in your routine vaccination check-up when a prescription will be authorised for the next 12 months.

For all other long-term medication the previous rules of six-monthly check-ups still apply.
The full guidance can be found at

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