• The BNF is a joint publication of the British Medical Association and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society
  • The BNF for Children (BNFC) is a joint publication of the British Medical Association, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in association with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists’ Group
    • BNFC covers the use of medicines in children from newborn infants to under 18 years
  • BNF and BNFC are mainly used by doctors, pharmacists, nurses and other healthcare professionals
  • The BNF publications provide healthcare professionals with up-to-date information on the use of medicines prescribed in the UK and is used to support prescribing decisions
  • The BNF is divided into chapters and each medicine has its own individual ‘drug monograph’, which give the following details:
  • Indication(s) and dosage
  • Contra-indications
  • Cautions
  • Interactions
  • Side-effects
  • Information for use in pregnancy and breast-feeding
  • Information for use in renal and hepatic impairment where appropriate
  • Directions for administration
  • Patient and carer advice
  • Medicinal forms e.g. if the medicine is available as tablet, capsule, intravenous preparation etc.


How to access the BNF and BNFC

  • Print editions should generally be available in all clinical areas but note this is only updated twice each year, in March and September, and you must have access to the most recent edition
  • Online access is updated monthly and can be accessed via:
  • BNF and BNFC Application (App) can be downloaded by any non-commercial user in the UK and is free of charge for NHS users


Now watch these short videos about the BNF and the history behind it:

Celebrating 70 years of the BNF:


Celebrating 70 years: The BNF Content Life-Cycle: