Prescriptions - Northern Ireland

Please select your country below

What is a gluten free prescription?

To help people diagnosed with coeliac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis manage a gluten free diet, the NHS provide access to staple gluten free foods on prescription. These foods are dispensed by your local pharmacy.

Access and availability to gluten-free foods on prescription may vary depending on where you live. Please ask your GP or Pharmacist what the arrangements are in your Health & Social Care Trust (HSCT)

What products are available?

Gluten free alternatives to everyday staple foods are available on prescription in Northern Ireland. These include a selection of fresh, long-life and part-baked loaves and rolls, a range of all -purpose flour mixes, breakfast cereals, pasta, pizza bases and crackers.

Gluten Free Loaves

Gluten Free Rolls

Gluten Free Flour Mixes

Gluten Free Breakfast Cereals

Gluten Free Pasta

Gluten Free Crackers

What quantities of gluten free food are available on prescription?

Healthcare professionals measure staple gluten free food in units.

1 unit =

1 (400g) loaf of bread /
1 (5x85g) pack of rolls

OR

1 (250g) pack pasta

OR

1 (200g) pack of crispbread/crackers

1.5 units =

1 (300g - 500g) pack of breakfast cereal

OR

1 (500g) pack of Pure Oats

2 units =

1 (500g) pack of all-purpose mix

OR

1 (500g) pack of pasta

The approximate allowance of gluten free food a person requires for a month has been suggested by healthcare professionals and Coeliac UK.

Age group Recommended
no. of units
Child 1-3 years 10
Child 4-6 years 11
Child 7-10 years 13
Child 11-14 years 15
Child 15-18 years 18
Male 19-59 years 18
Male 60-74 years 16
Male 75+ years 14
Female 19-74 years 14
Female 75+ years 12
3rd trimester pregnancy Add 1 unit
Breastfeeding Add 4 units

Ref: Gluten-Free foods – a revised guide 2012

Do I have to pay for a gluten free prescription?

Gluten free prescriptions are free of charge in Northern Ireland.

How to set up a gluten-free prescription?

Make an appointment to see your GP.

Discuss with your GP what your staple gluten free food needs are for a typical month. 

Tip:

Print off and complete this Food Diary to estimate how much gluten free food you use in a typical month 

Ask about choosing a local community pharmacy to dispense your prescriptions.

Tip:

Find your nearest community pharmacy here.

Ask about the arrangements for repeat prescriptions in your area. 

Tip:

Most prescriptions are repeated every month without the need to see your GP. If you would like your prescription more frequently then ask your GP.

How is a gluten free prescription dispensed?

Your local pharmacist is the healthcare professional responsible for dispensing your gluten-free prescription.

It normally takes 48 hours for a prescription to be ready for collection from your local community pharmacy.

Tip:

Fresh bread has set delivery days.
Read more on fresh bread delivery arrangements.

How to make changes to a prescription

The arrangements for making changes to your gluten free prescription will vary depending on where you live. If your GP has not explained the arrangements, then ask your pharmacist.  

Tip:

You can use this handy Request Form to give to your GP or Pharmacist.