netFormulary NHS
NHS Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire CCG
Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust
Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
 Formulary Chapter 3: Respiratory system - Full Chapter

Respiratory-related Prescribing Guidance

Please see our Prescribing Guidelines page for all prescribing guidance relating to this chapter.

Respiratory-related Shared Care Agreements

Please see our Shared Care Agreements page for all shared care agreements (SCAs) relating to this chapter.

National guidance - The Respiratory Chapter should be read in conjunction with BTS guidelines , BTS/SIGN Asthma Guidelines  and NICE guidelines on COPD and Asthma

Guidance on inhaler devices 

Inhalers should always be prescribed by their BRAND name. 

The patient's ability to use a device should be assessed by a competent healthcare professional and re-assessed as part of structured clinical review. If the patient is unable to use a device satisfactorily, an alternative should be found.

RightBreathe is a free app/website designed to help clinicians and patients use inhaled therapy and devices appropriately has patient-friendly videos of inhaler technique here.

In children aged 0-5 years, pMDI and spacer are the preferred delivery method for β2 agonists or inhaled steroids. A face mask is required until the child can breathe reproducibly using the spacer mouthpiece. 


Many of the products in this chapter are available for purchase over-the-counter, and patients are encouraged to self-care, with the support of their community pharmacist, in the first instance. For further information on self-care & the NHS, please refer to

Chapter Links...
03.04.03  Expand sub section  Allergic emergencies
03.04.03  Expand sub section  Anaphylaxis
Adrenaline / epinephrine
(EpiPen Jext )
(for IM self administration)
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Epipen® brand (150 microgram and 300microgram devices) is considered the first line Adrenaline Auto Injector (AAI) across BSW.

Jext® brand (150 microgram and 300microgram devices) may also be used across BSW if supply issues necessitate.

Emerade ® brand (150microgram, 300microgram and 500microgram devices) were previously included on the formulary but NOT currently available. See further information below.

Injection technique is device specific. To ensure patients receivethe AAI that they have been trained to use, prescribers should prescribe by brand. Resources to support initial training, or when switching device:

Epipen demo video;  Epipen prescriber checklist; Jext demo video;

Additional notes:

All healthcare professionals in primary, secondary or specialist healthcare services who prescribe, supply or administer AAIs, or who advise patients and carers should ensure that:

  • When patients next request a prescription, they are reviewed to ensure their AAI  prescription is still appropriate.
  • Prescribers issue no more than TWO AAIs per patient (exceptions suggested to this in a 2019 DHSC supply disruption alert are ▪ where schools require separate AAI(s) to be kept on the school premises (e.g. in a medical room) in which case prescribers may need to consider issuing more than two but no more than four AAIs per child; ▪ for the rare scenario where patients might need more than two AAIs prescribed (for example, prior severe reaction resistant to treatment with adrenaline), the prescriber may issue additional AAIs).
  • Patients are aware to not expose any brand of AAI to temperatures above 25°C. Storage above 25°C may increase the likelihood of a fault occurring with AAIs.
  • Patients use their device(s) as instructed until the expiry date/extended expiry date. N.B. a device expiring in ‘March 2020’ does not expire until 31 March 2020.
  • Patients are aware of the signs of anaphylaxis and the actions they should immediately take.

June 2020 -AAIs Supply Issues

Emerade® 150, 300 and 500 microgram AAI devices will be

unavailable for the foreseeable future. Patient and/or carers

should return Emerade AAIs to their local pharmacy once they have

obtained a prescription for, and been supplied with, an alternative brand.

While Emerade® remains unavailable, alternative devices should be considered

  • Emerade® is the only AAI available in 500microgram formulation but The MHRA note that there is evidence to suggest that a single EpiPen® (300 microgram) or Jext® (300 microgram) device will be a suitable replacement for a single Emerade® 500 microgram device. 
Link  MAY 2020 - Class 2 Medicines Recall: Emerade 500 micrograms solution for injection in pre-filled syringe NOTE THIS IS IN ADDITION TO ALERTS ISSUED IN MARCH AND APRIL 2020
Link  October 2019 - Adrenaline auto-injectors: MHRA Summary of recent action taken to support safety
Link   Resuscitation Council anaphylaxis guidelines
Link  MHRA Patient Info Leaflet - Adrenaline auto-injectors and advice on use
Link  NICE CG134: Anaphylaxis: Assessment and referral after emergency treatment
Link  Epipen - Risk minimisation education materials
Link  Jext - Risk minimisation education materials
Adrenaline / Epinephrine
(Adrenaline 1 in 1000)
(Injection ampoules)
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Adrenaline / Epinephrine
(Adrenaline 1 in 1000)
(Injection minijet)
View adult BNF View SPC online
  • Red - GWH
  • Non-formulary - RUH
  • Non-formulary - SFT
Adrenaline / epinephrine 1 in 10,000
View adult BNF View SPC online
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  • 1 in 10, 000 ampoules and minijet.
  • Slow IV inj reserved for severely ill patients where there is doubt about adequacy of the circulation and absorption from the IM site with ECG monitoring.
  • Ensure that the correct strength of adrenaline injection is used. 
03.04.03  Expand sub section  Angioedema
note Notes
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Section Title Section Title (sub level)
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Non Formulary Item Non Formulary section
Restricted Drug
Restricted Drug
Unlicensed Drug
Track Changes
Display tracking information
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Link to adult BNF
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Link to SPCs
Scottish Medicines Consortium
Cytotoxic Drug
Cytotoxic Drug
Controlled Drug
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Cancer Drugs Fund
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High Cost Drug Approval System

Traffic Light Status Information

Status Description

Traffic LightRed

RED - Hospital only to be prescribed by a specialist and supplied from secondary care ONLY throughout treatment.  

Traffic LightAmber

Amber medicines are considered suitable for GP prescribing following specialist initiation or recommendation.  

Traffic LightAmber with Shared Care

Shared Care - these medicines require specialist initiation and stabilisation. Ongoing division of responsibility for drug and disease monitoring between specialist and GP by a Shared Care Guideline (SCG). If no SCG in place status reverts to red.  

Traffic LightGreen

These medicines are appropriate for initiation in both primary and secondary care. Prescribing is appropriate within licensed or local recommendations.  

Traffic LightSelf

Suitable for patient to be directed to buy themselves  

Traffic LightGrey

Not currently used. We intend to include this TLS in future to highlight where a decision to use this medicine is under review.   

Traffic LightBlack

(In use from Oct 2020) Used where a decision has been made by the BSW APC not to routinely commission this preparation for its licensed indications. Do not prescribe.   

Traffic LightRed Specialist Centre

Not currently used. We intend to include this TLS in future to highlight where this medicine and indication is ONLY available through a Specialist Centre according to a NICE Highly Specialised Technology or NHSE Specialised Commission Circular / Policy.