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NHS Resources: BNFC

Resources for OUH Trust staff


BNFC – British National Formulary for Children


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

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


BNF for Children (BNFC) provides information on the use of medicines in children ranging from neonates (including preterm neonates) to adolescents. The BNFC is divided into:

  • General information which includes How BNF for Children is Constructed and Changes;
  • General Guidance, 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 3, Respiratory System) or to an aspect of paediatric 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 4 Appendices (providing information on drug interactions, borderline substances, cautionary and advisory labels for dispensed medicines, and intravenous infusions for neonatal intensive care), 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;
  • Body Surface Area in Children, which provides an estimation of the body surface based on a child's body-weight;
  • Medical Emergencies in the Community, which outlines drug doses used for medical emergencies in the community;
  • Approximate Conversions and Units, which includes conversions for imperial to metric measures;
  • General Reference, which includes information on abbreviations and symbols used in BNFC and contact details for Medicines Information Services.


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