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Public Services Division

Drug Information


  • Drug questions are among the most frequently asked medical questions in the medical, public, and academic libraries. Patients want to understand the drugs being prescribed to them.
  • Physicians need information on new drugs and may also ask for confirmation of information they receive from the drug representatives.
  • Drug information is complicated by the variety of generic and product names.
  • The guide is not exhaustive in scope or coverage, but representative of drug information resources used by consumers, health providers, and researchers.
  • Resources are also selected by staff with past reference, bibliographic instruction, and collection development experience in consumer health, hospital, academic, and government medical libraries.
  • The following resources were also reviewed:
    • ALA Guide to Medical & Health Sciences Reference. Chicago: American Library Association; 2011.
    • Gabay M., editor. The Clinical Practice of Drug Information. Burlington (MA): Jones and Bartlett Learning; 2016.
    • Snow B. Drug Information: a guide to current resources. 3rd ed. Chicago: Medical Library Association; published by New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers; 2008.

The drug resources listed in this guide include:

  • Primary organizations and databases developed for consumers and health professionals.
  • Web-based drug information that can be used to answer questions about United States and International drugs, prescription and over-the-counter as well as dietary supplements and herbals.
  • Statistics, regulations, directories, and bibliographic databases.
  • Some of the resources listed also include printed books and databases that may require a subscription but would be useful for a researcher.
  • Coverage of specialized aspects of drug information such as adverse effects, toxicology, and pill identification.
  • Resources for specific audiences such as consumers, nurses, dental personnel, and veterinarians are included.
  • Resources for specific uses such as cancer, analgesia, and complementary medicine. See the Table of Contents for additional coverage of the guide.
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