netFormulary NHS
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
 Formulary Chapter 5: Infections - Full Chapter


COVID-19: guidance for health professionals 


Intravenous antibiotics are more expensive than oral equivalents and some are very expensive they also put patients at risk of IV cannula infections. Oral antibiotics are usually fairly cheap. IM injections are rarely if ever indicated.

Course lengths:
Prescriptions for oral antibiotics for in-patients should be reviewed at or before five days. Prescriptions for intravenous antibiotics should be reviewed at or before 48 hours after which the patient should be considered for an oral antibiotic if there is an equivalent available. For uncomplicated urinary tract infections three days treatment is usually sufficient in adult women. Complicated infections require longer treatment.

When initiating therapy with agents marked with Restricted, you must seek Microbiology/Infectious Diseases advice.

The restricted antimicrobials may be prescribed without discussion with microbiology if they are being used for an approved indication as specified. Use outside these indications (and any use for some antimicrobials) requires DOCUMENTED approval from one of the medical microbiologists or Infectious Diseases Physician prior to prescribing.

For further information on prescribing antimicrobials at Royal Papworth Hospital please refer to the Microguide

Prescribing in Primary Care and CPFT should follow the Primary Care Prescribing Guidelines and initiate only those treatments recommended as Green (unless on the advice of a microbiologist).

Use in pregnancy

  • It is important to ensure adequate treatment of maternal infection in pregnancy as failure to treat may lead to adverse maternal and fetal outcome as a consequence of uncontrolled infection or fever.
  • When considering treatment with antibacterial agents during pregnancy, the following factors should be taken into account: the severity of the maternal infection, the presence of fever, the maternal and fetal risks associated with failing to treat the mother adequately, the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic effects (where known) of pregnancy on drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion, and the potential fetotoxicity of the treatments being considered.
  • Where possible, antibiotic choice should be informed by culture and sensitivity tests, however if treatment is required urgently or before test results become available, then penicillins or cephalosporins should be considered where clinically appropriate.
  • See UKTIS Antibiotic use in Pregnancy for further information. 
  • Prescribing in Primary Care and CPFT should follow the Primary Care Prescribing Guidelines which includes specific guidance for pregnancy and initiate only those treatments recommended as Green (unless on the advice of a microbiologist).
Chapter Links...
05.04.01  Expand sub section  Antimalarials
05.04.01  Expand sub section  Artemether with lumefabtrine
Artemether with lumefantrine (Riamet)
View adult BNF View SPC online View childrens BNF  Track Changes
Restricted Drug Restricted
Red Hospital

  • CUHFT: Approved infectious disease for resistant-malaria.

  • NWAFT: Formulary.

  • Non-formulary at all other Trusts.

05.04.01  Expand sub section  Chloroquine
05.04.01  Expand sub section  Mefloquine
05.04.01  Expand sub section  Primaquine to top
05.04.01  Expand sub section  Proguanil
05.04.01  Expand sub section  Pyrimethamine
05.04.01  Expand sub section  Quinine
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
click to search
Link to adult BNF
click to search
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


Available Over the Counter. Consider Self Care   


Formulary - Can be prescribed in both secondary and primary care.   


Formulary - Specialist Advice, secondary care advice provided for primary care initiation.  

Amber No SCG

Formulary - Specialist initiation without shared care guidance.  

Amber SCG

Formulary - Specialist initiation with shared care guidance.  

Red Hospital

Restricted - Prescribing (and monitoring where applicable) to remain with the hospital or specialist service. Not to be prescribed in Primary Care  


Not recommended for prescribing. Switch to alternative cost-effective option.   


Not recommended for prescribing in primary or secondary care.  


Not recommended as no formal application made for addition to the formulary. Contact relevant pharmacy team for further information.   

Non Formulary

Non-Formulary (category under review).