Children's medicines

In partnership with organisations representing health professionals, children and young people, and parents and carers, the College manages and supports projects in paediatric medicines. 

Row of babies sitting

On this page:

Programmes of the Medicines Committee

The Medicines Committee is a unique collaborative standing committee with membership split between the RCPCH and Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG). The Committee's key work areas are:

  • British National Formulary For Children (BNFC) - Input into policy issues and support production of future editions
  • Consultation - Respond to consultation documents from the Government and outside agencies, including the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE)
  • Lobbying - Advise and support external agencies and parental bodies about licensing, availability, use and surveillance of medicines in paediatric populations, including medicines used outside of the license, newly licensed products, unlicensed medicines for rare conditions and adverse reactions to medicines
  • Medicines for Children information for parents and carers - provides practical and reliable information on, with leaflets covering more than 100 medicines, instructional films on giving medicines to children and latest news
  • Medicines for Children Research Network (MCRN) - supporting research opportunities and implications for practice to improve the coordination, speed and quality of randomised controlled trials and other well-designed studies of medicines for children and young people; the MCRN is one of six research networks managed by the UK Clinical Research Network (UKCRN)
  • Education and training resources 

For more information about the Committee, email

Clarity around new editions of BNF for Children (BNFC) 2015-2016

UK Medicines Information (UKMi), the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacy Group (NPPG) and BNF have published a statement concerning clarifications and corrections around the recently published 2015-2016 edition of BNFC. The statement can be viewed on the BNF website.
The statement addresses the following in particular:
  • the identification of a small number of dose errors
  • changes in the presentation of the preparations
  • comments relating to the new format.
Paper editions of BNFC 2015-16 have been recommended to have the corrections placed within each copy; the online version has been updated to include the corrections. 
See the accompanying document: List of corrections to BNFC 2015-2016.

Use of domperidoneGroup of children kneeling

Following guidance from MHRA, NICE and recommendations included in the BNF-C, NPPG has produced a statement on the use of domperidone in infants and children.

The statement can be viewed via the NPPG homepage under 'What's new'

Use of codeine

As of June 2013, the MHRA advise that codeine should not be used in any child with a history of sleep apnoea who is undergoing tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy and that codeine should only be used in children over the age of 12 years. This guidance outlines potential alternatives.

Codeine statement - RCPCH, NPPG, RCoA and APAGBI (PDF, 112KB, 5 pages) - updated May 2014

Major trauma and the use of tranexamic acid in children

This statement produced jointly by members of the RCPCH/NPPG Medicines Committee and the Clinical Standards Committee is intended to provide guidance on the dose of tranexamic acid (TXA) in major trauma to ensure consistency with adult trauma. The statement should not preclude the development of suitable robust research studies in this area to improve knowledge.

Major trauma and the use of tranexamic acid in children (PDF, 53KB, 4 pages) - November 2012

Improving practice and reducing the risks of using parenteral nutrition for children

This report will help practitioners from all professions improve practice and reduce the risks in the provision of parenteral nutrition (PN) for children and neonates.

The chief pharmacists from specialist children’s hospitals and the Paediatric Chief Pharmacists Group along with input from the RCPCH, scoped current practice across the UK and made recommendations to improve practice and reduce risks in the provision of PN for neonates and children.

View report on the Royal Pharmaceutical Society website - November 2011 

Use of unlicensed medicines

Children's medicines are regularly provided off-licence (where the medicine does not have a license for use in children) or off-label (where the medicine is used in a different way than that described in the license).

This statement, produced by the Medicines Committee, informs and guides health professionals, health service managers, and parents and carers who prescribe, dispense, administer or have responsibility for medicines for children.

Unlicensed medicines statement (PDF, 38KB, 4 pages) - December 2013

Paediatric prescribing tool

This training tool was developed by a small working group from RCPCH and NPPG as a rapid response to critical incidents of gross prescribing errors affecting children.

Tested by about 40 practitioners, it is based on best practice and similar tools in use. The tool alerts supervising consultants when a staff member needs extra support for paediatric prescribing.

More information and download tool - including scenarios, assessor's sheet and teaching presentation


For more information, contact the Research Projects Team.