netFormulary NHS
Nottinghamshire Area Prescribing Committee
Joint Formulary
 Formulary Chapter 3: Respiratory system - Full Chapter
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03.01.03  Expand sub section  Theophylline
 note  CAUTION -
  • Theophylline has a narrow therapeutic index and troublesome interactions (especially with macrolides & nicotine).
    PRESCRIBE BY BRAND - Be aware that oral modified release brands of theophylline and aminophylline are NOT interchangeable. All patients need to be maintained on the same brand as initally prescribed for them.

    N.B. BTS guidelines state liquid preparations are not recommended for the prophylaxis of wheeze
  • Theophylline (Uniphyllin Continus)
    View adult BNF View SPC online View childrens BNF
    First Choice

    Tablet MR (200mg, 300mg, 400mg)

    • PRESCRIBE BY BRAND, but currently Uniphyllin Continus is only brand available. Slo-Phyllin capsules and Nuelin SA tablets discontinued 2019- see details.
    • Traffic light Green adults only, children= Amber 2 
    Aminophylline IV
    View adult BNF View SPC online View childrens BNF
    Restricted Drug Restricted
  • Secondary care only
  • Link  NUH:Therapeutic Drug Monitoring in Adults at NUH
    Link  SFH Drug levels information - compilation table
    Link  SFH: Aminophylline infusion guidelines
    Link  UKMI Q&A: Conversion of IV aminophylline dose to oral aminophylline or theophylline
     Non Formulary Items
    Aminophylline  (Phyllocontin Continus)

    View adult BNF View SPC online View childrens BNF
    Non Formulary
    • Discontinued. 225mg stocks expected to be exhausted by 30th March 2021 & 350mg by 5th April 2021. No new patients to be started. See here for further details and switching guidance.
    • Tablets cannot be crushed. Switch to theophylline (100mg aminophylline = 80mg theophylline)
    note Notes
    Section Title Section Title (top level)
    Section Title Section Title (sub level)
    First Choice Item First Choice item
    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 children's BNF
    click to search
    Link to SPCs
    Scottish Medicines Consortium
    Cytotoxic Drug
    Cytotoxic Drug
    Controlled Drug
    High Cost Medicine
    High Cost Medicine
    Cancer Drugs Fund
    Cancer Drugs Fund
    NHS England

    Traffic Light Status Information

    Status Description


    Grey / Non-Formulary: Medicines, which the Nottinghamshire APC has actively reviewed and does not recommend for use at present due to limited clinical and/or cost effective data.
    Grey / Non-Formulary (undergoing assessment): Work is ongoing and will be reviewed at a future APC meeting.
    Grey / Non-Formulary (no formal assessment): APC has not formally reviewed this medicine or indication because it had never been requested for formulary inclusion. Often used for drugs new to market.


    Medicines which should normally be prescribed by specialists only. eg hospital only.
    For patients already receiving prescriptions in primary care - continue. No new patients to receive prescriptions in primary care.

    Amber 1

    Medicines that should be initiated by a specialist and prescribed by primary care prescribers only under a shared care protocol, once the patient has been stabilised.
    Prior agreement must be obtained by the specialist from the primary care provider before prescribing responsibility is transferred. The shared care protocol must have been agreed by the relevant secondary care trust Drugs and Therapeutics Committee(s) (DTC) and approved by the Nottinghamshire APC.

    Amber 2

    Medicines suitable to be prescribed in primary care / general practice after specialist* recommendation or initiation.
    A supporting prescribing guideline may be requested which must have been agreed by the relevant secondary care trust DTCs and approved by the Nottinghamshire APC.
    *Specialist is defined by the APC as a clinician who has undertaken an appropriate formal qualification or recognised training programme within the described area of practice

    Amber 3

    Primary care/ non specialist may initiate as per APC guideline.
    The supporting prescribing guideline must have been agreed by the relevant secondary care trust D&TC(s) and approved by the Nottinghamshire APC.


    Medicines suitable for routine use within primary care.
    Can be initiated within primary care within their licensed indication, in accordance with nationally recognised formularies, for example the BNF, BNF for Children, Medicines for Children or Palliative Care Formulary. Primary care prescribers take full responsibility for prescribing.