Conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care: Guidance for CCGs
Published March 2018
Appendix 1 -Conditions for which prescribing should be restricted
- Vitamins and minerals
- Acute Sore Throat
- Infrequent Cold Sores of the lip.
- Coughs and colds and nasal congestion
- Cradle Cap (Seborrhoeic dermatitis – infants)
- Infant Colic
- Mild Cystitis
- Mild Irritant Dermatitis
- Diarrhoea (Adults)
- Dry Eyes/Sore (tired) Eyes
- Excessive sweating (Hyperhidrosis)
- Head Lice
- Indigestion and Heartburn
- Infrequent Constipation
- Infrequent Migraine
- Insect bites and stings
- Mild Acne
- Mild Dry Skin
- Sun Protection
- Mild to Moderate Hay fever/Seasonal Rhinitis
- Minor burns and scalds
- Minor conditions associated with pain, discomfort and/fever. (e.g. aches and sprains, headache, period pain, back pain)
- Mouth ulcers
- Nappy Rash
- Oral Thrush
- Prevention of dental caries
- Ringworm/Athletes foot
- Teething/Mild toothache
- Travel Sickness
- Warts and Verrucae
Appendix 2–Example products for conditions or over the counter items that could be restricted.
NB the products highlighted below are included for illustration purposes only. This guidance focuses on prescribing restrictions for the conditions identified. Condition/Item
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin B compound tablets, Vitamin C effervescent 1g tablets,
Acute Sore Throat
Lozenges or throat sprays
Antiviral cold sore cream
Antimicrobial eye drops and eye ointment.
Coughs and Colds and Nasal Congestion
Cough mixtures or linctus,
Saline nose drops,
Menthol vapour rubs,
Cold and flu capsules or sachets.
Haemorrhoid creams, ointments and suppositories.
Sodium bicarbonate or potassium citrate granules
Loperamide 2mg capsules
Dry Eyes/Sore(tired) eyes
Eye drops for sore tired eyes
Hypromellose 0.3% eye drops
Drops containing sodium bicarbonate, hydrogen peroxide, olive oil or almond oil.
Excessive sweating (mild – moderate hyperhidrosis)
Aluminium chloride sprays, roll-ons, solutions.
Creams or lotions for head lice
Indigestion and Heartburn
Antacid tablets or liquids
Ranitidine 150mg Tablets
OTC proton pump inhibitors e.g. omeprazole 10mg capsules.
Sodium alginate, calcium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate liquids.
Bisacodyl tablets 5mg