Tariff Tip: Instant Carobel thickening agent

Q. I have a prescription for Instant Carobel but I cannot find it in the Drug Tariff, is it allowed on prescription?

A. Yes, Instant Carobel is allowed on NHS prescription in certain circumstances

Instant Carobel is designated a borderline substance and is used in the dietary management of habitual and recurrent vomiting.

The product can only be prescribed to treat vomiting in infancy and is listed as Instant Carobel in the Drug Tariff under the following sections:

English and Wales Drug Tariff

Part XV - Borderline Substances – Vomiting in infancy

Northern Ireland Tariff

Borderline Substances - List A

The Scottish Drug Tariff does not have a Borderline Substances list. However, Instant Carobel is not blacklisted and so it is allowed on prescription.

Borderline Substances

Some foods and toiletry preparations have the properties of drugs when used to treat a medical condition.

These products are assessed by a committee, known as the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances (ACBS), to decide if they are appropriate to prescribe on the NHS.

If they are approved they are given the designation ‘borderline substance’ and listed in Part XV of the Drug Tariff (England and Wales).

Where a borderline substance is prescribed, the prescriber should endorse the prescription “ACBS” – however, if the endorsement is missing the item can still be dispensed.


Need help?

Each week we will be highlighting a popular question or issue addressed by our information services team to help keep you informed about the hot topics being discussed by other members.

If you have any questions about the Drug Tariff - send Sue a message or call Information Services on 0800 783 5709