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NHS Resources: BNF

Resources for OUH Trust staff


BNF – British National Formulary


The BNF is available on the NICE website. Click on BNF in the top menu bar.

If you have any queries, please contact us:
tel: (01865 2)21936


The BNF is unique in bringing together authoritative, independent guidance on best practice with clinically validated drug information, enabling healthcare professionals to select safe and effective medicines for individual patients.

The  BNF is divided into:

  • The Preface and General information which includes How the BNF is Constructed and Changes;
  • Guidance on Prescribing, which provides practical information on many aspects of prescribing from writing a prescription to prescribing in palliative care;
  • Emergency Treatment of Poisoning, which provides an overview on the management of acute poisoning;
  • Classified notes on clinical conditions, drugs, and preparations, these notes are divided into 15 chapters, each of which is related to a particular system of the body (e.g. chapter 2, Cardiovascular System) or to an aspect of medical care (e.g. chapter 5, Infections). Each chapter is further divided into classified sections. Each section usually begins with prescribing notes followed by relevant drug monographs and preparations (see fig. 1). Drugs are classified in a section according to their pharmacology and therapeutic use;
  • Appendices and Indices, includes 5 Appendices (providing information on drug interactions, Borderline substances, cautionary and advisory labels for dispensed medicines, intravenous additives, and wound management), the Dental Practitioners' Formulary, the Nurse Prescribers' Formulary, Non-medical Prescribing, and Index of Manufacturers. The information in the Appendices should be used in conjunction with relevant information in the chapters.


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