NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Area Drug and Therapeutics Committee
Greater Glasgow and Clyde Medicines
Medicines Update

Instalments for CDs

Instalment Prescriptions for CDs: Updated Home Office Wording


Prescriptions for Controlled Drugs which are supplied in instalments must contain specific wording to allow supply in advance of public holidays or where the patient has failed to collect part of an instalment. In response to concerns about the lack of flexibility with existing arrangements, the Home Office has recently published updated sets of wording which are shorter and aim to improve patient safety. Being shorter, it is possible that these could be incorporated into prescribing systems.


One or more sets of the new sets of wording can be used to ensure the prescriber’s intentions are clear.

  • Please dispense instalments due on pharmacy closed days on a prior suitable day.  
  • If an instalment’s collection day has been missed, please still dispense the amount due for any remaining day(s) of that instalment.  
  • Consult the prescriber if 3 or more consecutive days of a prescription have been missed.  
  • Supervise consumption on collection days.  
  • Dispense daily doses in separate containers.


Note that the previous wording can still be used as long as the prescriber’s intentions are clear. Prescriptions with the previous wording should be dispensed as usual where legally compliant and there are no other concerns about supply. One significant change is that instalments can now be supplied on a suitable day prior to closure; not specifically the day immediately prior to closure. For a Monday closure, a patient who normally receives a three day supply on a Friday can now be supplied with the Monday dose on the Friday, if suitable. 


It is not for use to cover normal weekend closing, but instead for closure during normal contracted hours of service. Pharmacies that are only open for reduced hours on holidays, eg Saturday 26th December or Monday 28th December, may supply on a normal working day in advance at the discretion of the pharmacist.


The prescription must state separately both the dose and the instalment quantities as per the examples.


Methadone supervised

Please note this wording must be used for any schedule 2 or 3 CD supplied in instalments, not just methadone / Suboxone®.

MST prescription



Published 14/12/15