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Unified Medical Language System® (UMLS®)

RxNorm Release Notes

December Release - 12/05/2016

This release of RxNorm is consistent with the 2016AB UMLS Metathesaurus release. For additional information about RxNorm releases, including scripts for loading the RxNorm data into Oracle and MySQL databases, read the RxNorm technical documentation.


The following sources have been updated since the previous RxNorm release:

Source NameSABVersion
DrugBank DRUGBANK DRUGBANK5.0_2016_11_08
Gold Standard Drug Database GS GS_2016_11_04
Medi-Span Master Drug Data Base MDDB MDDB_2016_11_02
Multum MediSource Lexicon MMSL MMSL_2016_11_01
Micromedex RED BOOK MMX MMX_2016_11_14
FDA Structured Product Labels MTHSPL MTHSPL_2016_11_28
FDB MedKnowledge (formerly NDDF Plus) NDDF NDDF_2016_11_09
Veterans Health Administration National Drug File VANDF VANDF_2016_10_20

The following sources have not been updated in this release:

Source NameSABVersion
Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System ATC ATC_2016
CMS Formulary Reference File MTHCMSFRF MTHCMSFRF_2014
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) MSH MSH2017_2016_08_12
Veterans Health Administration National Drug File - Reference Terminology NDFRT NDFRT_2016_11_07
US Edition of SNOMED CT (drug information) SNOMEDCT_US SNOMEDCT_US_2016_07_31

Data Changes

This release includes many changes to dose forms for injectable products as part of the ongoing prescribable names (TTY=PSN) work.

New Data Source Included
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is pleased to announce the addition of a new data source - DrugBank. The DrugBank database is a unique bioinformatics and cheminformatics resource that combines detailed drug (i.e. chemical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical) data with comprehensive drug target (i.e. sequence, structure, and pathway) information. The DrugBank dataset in RxNorm includes nearly 14,000 ingredient/chemical names and synonyms, along with the DrugBank ID for each.

New Dose Form Added
RxNorm includes a new dose form: Intrauterine System. This dose form is defined as a drug delivery system inserted and left in the uterus to provide uniform release of drugs over several years. Drugs with the new dose form used the Drug Implant dose form prior to the December release. This change affects four SBD concepts and their related graphs.

Qualitative Distinction
Please see the technical documentation for an explanation of Qualitative Distinctions (QDs), which were first released in the August monthly release.

Here are the new concepts with QDs in the December release:

848208SCDAugmented Betamethasone 0.0005 MG/MG Topical Gel
848180SCDAugmented Betamethasone 0.0005 MG/MG Topical Ointment
848200SBDAugmented Betamethasone 0.0005 MG/MG Topical Ointment [Diprolene]
848176SCDAugmented Betamethasone 0.5 MG/ML Topical Cream
848195SBDAugmented Betamethasone 0.5 MG/ML Topical Cream [Diprolene]
848178SCDAugmented Betamethasone 0.5 MG/ML Topical Lotion
848197SBDAugmented Betamethasone 0.5 MG/ML Topical Lotion [Diprolene]

For each SCD or SBD with a QD, there is an associated attribute in RXNSAT with the attribute name (ATN) of 'RXN_QUALITATIVE_DISTINCTION'. The December release contains the following new attributes to match the QD strings found in the SCD and SBD normalized names:

  • Augmented

Data Counts

Term Type or AttributeNumber
Active GPCKs373
Active BPCKs429
Active SCDs18820
Active SBDs10658
Active RXNORM MINs3983
Active RXNORM INs11191
Active RXNORM PINs2601
Active RXNORM BNs6273
Active RXNORM DFs115
Obsolete GPCKs144
Obsolete BPCKs129
Obsolete SCDs16216
Obsolete SBDs10206
Obsolete RXNORM MINs0
Obsolete RXNORM INs0
Obsolete RXNORM PINs0
Obsolete RXNORM BNs9659
Obsolete RXNORM DFs59
Editor-suppressed SCDs1581
Editor-suppressed SBDs1330
Source-asserted NDCs1235524
Distinct source-asserted NDCs582456
Distinct SAB=RXNORM NDCs221854