National prescribing guidelines

Regional differences

Your GP is ultimately responsible for the clinical decision making about the amounts of gluten free staples that are prescribed. In England, the decisions about the area prescribing policy come from local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

You can relate your personal unit allocation to the list of the units allocated to the different types of gluten free staple foods. This gives flexibility about how you use your units so you can choose what's right for you. Only staple foods are available on prescription.

Recommended amounts per month:

Age and sex Number 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
Breastfeeding Add 4
3rd trimester pregnancy Add 1

In England, only bread and flour mixes are available on prescription. Because of this, additional guidance based on national data on bread consumption in the UK is also available for prescribers in England.

Additional guidance for England (bread and flour mixes only): 

Age and sex Number of units
Child under 10 years 8
Child 11 - 18 years 12
Female 19 years and older 8
Male 19 years and older 12

Additional consideration for prescribers

Prescribers should use their clinical judgement when prescribing and take energy requirements into account. Other factors can increase energy (and therefore carbohydrate) requirements, for example malnourished people with increased energy requirements, increased requirements during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and high activity levels. Prescribers should take these factors into account when deciding on appropriate quantities to prescribe and should seek advice from a dietitian if they are unsure.

Number of units for different foods:

Food item Number of units
400g bread/rolls/baguettes 1
500g bread/flour mix 2
200g savoury biscuits/crackers* 1
250g pasta* 1
500g oats* 1.5
300g breakfast cereals* 1.5
2 x 110-180g pizza bases* 1
100-170g xanthan gum* 1

*These products are available in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales but are not available on prescription in England.