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Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®) in MEDLINE®/PubMed®: A Tutorial

Indexing for Chemicals and Drugs

The D branch of the MeSH vocabulary tree is for Chemicals and Drugs.

Frequently, chemicals that are not currently MeSH headings need to be used for indexing. To enhance coverage of chemicals, Supplementary Concept Records (SCR) are available.

Every SCR is mapped to a MeSH heading which is automatically added to the citation when an indexer chooses an SCR to describe an article. These mapped terms can be found in the MeSH Database:

Examples:

coenzyme Q10 [Substance Name]

Heading Mapped to:
Ubiquinone/analogs and derivatives

Drugs and chemicals may also be searched in the MeSH database using their Registry Number, Enzyme Commission number or FDA Unique Ingredient Identifier (UNII).

Example:

86386-73-4 [rn]

Note: Not all records for chemicals in the MeSH database have registry number data, so retrieval may be incomplete.   If a search using a registry number is unsuccessful, search on the substance name instead. Classes or groups of drugs or chemicals, e.g., benzenes, are not assigned specific Registry Numbers.

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