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Clinical Reference: Drug Information

Created by Health Science Librarians

Selecting a Resource for your Drug Information Question

What resource should I begin with? It depends upon the type of question. This table identifies specific resources, as starting points, to answer common question types (listed alphabetically). 

Resources by Question Type

Question Type First Choices Next Choices

Adverse effects

Meyler's Side Effects of Drugs (print book), AHFS Drug Information

Micromedex (on-campus only), Facts & Comparisons


FDA Electronic Orange Book

AHFS Drug Information

Chemical Data

AHFS Drug InformationNLM PubChem

Micromedex (on-campus only)

Clinical Trials

WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform

Comparative Information

AHFS Drug InformationFacts & ComparisonsMicromedex (on-campus only)



AHFS Drug InformationFacts & ComparisonsMicromedex (on-campus only)

Manufacturers’ websites, NLM Drug Information PortalPubMed


CMS website

(Note: Red Book is no longer available)

Commercial web sites such as †, contacting Manufacturer(s)

Disease state information

Access PharmacyStat!Ref

Micromedex (on-campus only)VisualDX

Dosage recommendations

AHFS Drug InformationFacts & ComparisonsMicromedex (on-campus only)

DailyMed, Manufacturers’ websites

Drug administration

AHFS Drug InformationFacts & ComparisonsMicromedex (on-campus only)

Manufacturers’ websites, NLM Drug Information Portal

Drug interactions (drug-drug, drug-food, drug-lab tests, drug-disease, etc.)

Facts & ComparisonsMicromedex (on-campus only)

DrugCentralNatural Medicines

Drugs for HIV/AIDS Drug Database Facts & ComparisonsMicromedex (on-campus only)

Drugs in pregnancy and lactation

Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation (Briggs), (Briggs also available via Facts & Comparisons), LactMed, Medications and Mothers' Milk

AHFS Drug InformationNatural Medicines 

Herbal, natural & homeopathic products, dietary supplements

Natural Medicines

MEDLINEPlus, Embase, Micromedex (on-campus only), product websites

Identification (foreign)

Facts & ComparisonsMicromedex (on-campus only)

European Medicines Agency (EMEA)Embase

Identification (domestic)

Facts & ComparisonsMicromedex (on-campus only)

Product websites (see How Supplied section of package insert)

Immunization schedules

CDC website, WHO website

Immunization Action Coalition


BCC ResearchNexis Uni (contains Pink Sheet, MedTech Insight, In Vivo, Scrip Intelligence)


IV compatibility

Interactive Handbook on Injectable Drugs (includes Trissel's), Pediatric Injectable Drugs: The Teddy Bear Book

Micromedex (on-campus only)

Manufacturer’s contact information

Facts & Comparisons

Manufacturers' websites

Non-proprietary and Proprietary Names

AHFS Drug InformationDrugs@FDAFacts & ComparisonsMicromedex (on-campus only)

DailyMed, product websites

Nursing considerations

Lippincott's Nursing Drug Guide

Davis' Drug Guide

Over-the-counter products

Facts & ComparisonsMicromedex (on-campus only)

Product websites

Patient counseling/education

Facts & ComparisonsMicromedex (on-campus only)

MEDLINEPlusNatural MedicinesFDA for Consumers


AHFS Drug InformationFacts & ComparisonsMicromedex (on-campus only)

DailyMed, product websites, EmbasePubMed


AHFS Drug Information, Access PharmacyFacts & ComparisonsMicromedex (on-campus only)

Embase, product websites, NLM Drug Information Portal

Regulatory/legal information

FDA website, Access Pharmacy, Nexis Uni

Therapeutic use (approved indications)

AHFS Drug InformationFacts & ComparisonsMicromedex (on-campus only)

DailyMed, FDA website

Therapeutic use (off-label uses)

AHFS Drug InformationMicromedex (on-campus only)



Facts & ComparisonsMicromedex (on-campus only)

NLM Drug Information Portal

Current news

Nexis Uni, Factiva

 News websites

†Commercial website, use for informational purposes only.

Table adapted from the University of Washington Health Sciences Library; reused and revised with permission. 

Apps / Mobile Databases

mobileMicromedex is available for free to UNC-CH students, faculty, and staff.  You must be on campus to register but may be off campus when using your device. Instructions for registering are at Mobile Instructions.

The UpToDate app is also available for Android, iPhone and Windows. Instructions for registering are at Mobile Instructions.

A list of additional apps and mobile resources is in the Mobile Health & Research Apps guide

Natural Medicines, Supplements, and Herbals

Contact Rebecca

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Rebecca Carlson, MLS, AHIP

Looking for IPA?

The University Libraries no longer subscribes to International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (IPA), but you can search Scopus to find most of the journals in IPA.