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British National Formulary

British National Formulary

The standard cover design is easily identified with each six-monthly edition distinguished by a different jacket colour.
Author British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain
Publisher British Medical Journal and Royal Pharmaceutical Society Publishing
Publication date September 2007
ISBN ISBN 0260-535X
The British National Formulary (BNF) contains a wide spectrum of information on prescribing and pharmacology, among others indications, side effects and costs of the prescription of all medications available on the National Health Service. It is used by doctors and other prescribers (such as nurses, paramedics, and pharmacists) to help them select appropriate treatments for their patients; and is used as a general reference book on the wards by nurses who administer medications.

The BNF is jointly published by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and the British Medical Association. It is published biannually under the authority of a Joint Formulary Committee which comprises representatives of the two professional bodies and the Department of Health (United Kingdom).

Information on drugs is drawn from the manufacturers' product literature, medical and pharmaceutical literature, regulatory authorities and professional bodies. Advice is constructed from clinical literature and reflects, as far as possible, an evaluation of the evidence from diverse sources. The BNF also takes account of authoritative national guidelines and emerging safety concerns. In addition, the Joint Formulary Committee takes advice on all therapeutic areas from expert clinicians; this ensures that the BNF's recommendations are relevant to practice. Many individuals and organisations contribute towards the preparation of the BNF.

There are several sister publications - The British National Formulary for Children (BNF-C), is produced, and details drugs and their doses/uses in children; as well as two editions specially for nurses - The Nurse Prescriber's Formulary and the Extended Nurse Prescriber's Formulary, although with the recent changes to allow Extended Nurse Prescribers to prescribe from the full BNF, the fate of the latter publication is in some doubt.


The BNF is divided into various sections with the main sections on drugs and preparations being organised by body system.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • General information and late changes
  • General Reference
  • Guidance on prescribing
  • Emergency treatment of poisoning

Notes on drugs and preparations

  • 1 Gastro-intestinal system
  • 2 Cardiovascular system
  • 3 Respiratory system
  • 4 Central nervous system
  • 5 Infections
  • 6 Endocrine system
  • 7 Obstetrics, gynaecology, and urinary-tract disorders
  • 8 Malignant disease and immunosuppression
  • 9 Nutrition and blood
  • 10 Musculoskeletal and joint diseases
  • 11 Eye
  • 12 Ear, nose, and oropharynx
  • 13 Skin
  • 14 Immunological products and vaccines
  • 15 Anaesthesia

Appendixes and indexes

  • Appendix 1 Interactions
  • Appendix 2 Liver disease
  • Appendix 3 Renal impairment
  • Appendix 4 Pregnancy
  • Appendix 5 Breast-feeding
  • Appendix 6 Intravenous additives
  • Appendix 7 Borderline substances
  • Appendix 8 Wound management products and elastic hosiery
  • Appendix 9 Cautionary and advisory labels for dispensed medicines
  • Dental Practitioners’ Formulary
  • Nurse Prescribers’ Formulary
  • Index of manufacturers
  • Special-order manufacturers
  • Yellow Card

Current editions

As of September 2007 the current edition is v54.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "British_National_Formulary". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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