Coming soon to BNF and BNF for Children: Enhanced interactions

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New BNF interactions are complete! It’s a huge milestone for the team – the improved content is more consistently structured, allowing you to find interactions more easily, and gives more information about the severity of an interaction, helping you make clinical decisions.

You’ll see the new interactions in BNF 74 and BNF for Children 2017­-18, and in digital platforms in the coming months.

Why we have changed the interactions

Following the change to the systems and data structures that underpin the BNF content, which began in 2015, we are able to revisit how we present interactions in the BNF Publications.

Improvements driven by our users

We know from listening to users that the interactions content was becoming increasingly difficult to access. We were also aware that the nature of the way interactions were studied had changed, with regulatory authorities providing more guidance around predicting interactions. In addition, the BNF is committed to making the sources of its recommendations more transparent and so the time had come to re-write the interactions content.

Benefits of the new version

The biggest change in this rewrite is the acknowledgment that the predictions behind interactions are now much more reliable. Therefore, predicted interactions, where the result is substantiated by the known effects of the drugs and likely to result in a clinically important effect, are now more thoroughly covered.

In our improved content, finding interactions will be quicker and simpler as a result of:

  • A more systematic approach to the actions that should be taken as a result of an interaction is now present; actions are included whenever a manufacturer recommends avoiding the combination or changing the dose.
  • Levels of evidence have been added to illustrate the strength of the information underpinning our recommendations, in line with the work to do this across the whole of the BNF.
  • Severity of an interaction is now included, to help clinicians distinguish between interactions that may result in highly detrimental effects and interactions that may cause minimal inconvenience to a patient.
  • A consistent approach to pharmacodynamics interactions. In print, creating tables of drugs known to have certain pharmacodynamics effects ensures coverage is more consistent. Digital platforms provide the same information but as messages between drug pairs.
  • More user-friendly access to the information. Notes that were previously in the BNF main text are either included in Appendix 1 or signposted from Appendix 1 so you only have one place from which to start your search for interactions information.


To read the FAQ’s visit this page or download the PDF here.


We look forward to bringing you more information on our exciting product developments over the next few months, ahead of launch later this year.