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Medical Subject Headings

Pharmacological Actions, 2007. Documentation

Two files of Pharmacological Action data are available in XML format. The files are independent of other MeSH files in XML format but use some of the same techniques for representing data, such as referring to Descriptors by the element <DescriptorReferredTo> and its sub-elements, so users may find it helpful to consult Introduction to XML MeSH.

The two files consist of mappings between Pharmacological Action Descriptors, on the one hand, and substances having a particular action, on the other. Substances include both Descriptor records and Supplementary Concept Records (SCRs). One file is organized by substance, and the other by Pharmacological Action.

Note that beginning with 2008 MeSH the file listing by substance will no longer be available as a separate file, since the data may be extracted from the full Descriptor XML file.

1. By substance: pa_substanceYYYY.xml

List of substances with their assigned Pharmacological Action(s). The basic structure of the XML is:

SubstancePharmacological Action
Aluminum HydroxideAdjuvants, Immunologic
 Antacids

Substances are represented by both Descriptor records as well as Supplementary Concept Records.

XML Elements:

Element NameDescription
<DescriptorName>Name (= preferred term) of the Pharmacological Action (PA) Descriptor.
<DescriptorReferredTo>The pair consisting in both the name and UI of the PA Descriptor.
<DescriptorUI>Seven-digit Unique Identifier of the PA Descriptor.
<PharmacologicalActionList>The list of all PAs under a given substance.
<PharmacologicalActionOfSubstance>A given Pharmacological Action (PA) Descriptor.
<PharmacologicalActionSubstanceSet>The parent element of the entire XML file of substances.
<RecordName>Name (= preferred term) of the substance record.
<RecordUI>Unique Identifier of the substance record.
<String>The character string comprising the PA name and substance name.
<Substance>The pair consisting in both the name and UI of the substance record.

Sample XML.

2. By Pharmacological Action: paYYYY.xml

List of Pharmacological Actions with corresponding substances. The basic structure is the converse of the first file, being organized by Pharmacological Action rather than Substance:

Pharmacological ActionSubstance
AntacidsAluminum Hydroxide
 aluminum phosphate

This file also differs from the file by-substance in that it is expanded to include as <PharmacologicalAction>:

  • PAs which are ancestors of a given substance's PA
  • Selected ancestors of a given substance's PA which are not themselves PAs

The elements are mostly the same as the substances XML, and have the same meaning, but to avoid confusion, the main reference to the Pharmacological Action is different.

Beginning May 2007, this file will be updated weekly, primarily to include changes in the SCR PAs which may change during the year.

XML elements:

Element NameDescription
<DescriptorName>Name (= preferred term) of the Pharmacological Action (PA) Descriptor.
<DescriptorReferredTo>The pair consisting in both the name and UI of the PA Descriptor.
<DescriptorUI>Seven-digit Unique Identifier of the PA Descriptor.
<PharmacologicalActionSubstanceList>The list of all substances under a given PA.
<PharmacologicalAction>A given Pharmacological Action (PA) Descriptor.
<PharmacologicalActionSet>The parent element of the entire XML file of PAs.
<RecordName>Name (= preferred term) of the substance record.
<RecordUI>Unique Identifier of the substance record.
<String>The character string comprising the PA name and substance name.
<Substance>The pair consisting in both the name and UI of the substance record.



Sample XML
.


For questions concerning the content of the MeSH Tree Structures, contact:

Stuart Nelson, M.D.
Head, Medical Subject Headings
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20894
email: nelson@nlm.nih.gov
Telephone: 301-496-1495; FAX: 301-402-2002

For questions concerning distribution, format, etc., contact:

Jacque-Lynne Schulman
Medical Subject Headings
email: schulman@nlm.nih.gov
Telephone: 301-496-1495; FAX: 301-402-2002