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Online Drug Information Resources (June 2015): Medscape Pharmacists

By Kristy Steigerwalt

Medscape Pharmacists

This resource ( strives to “provide clinicians and other health care professionals with the most timely comprehensive and relevant clinical information to improve patient care. [sic]” The initial interface, which requires registration, displays a simple search box for locating material on drugs, diseases, procedures, over-the-counter medications, alternative medications, anatomy, and drug interactions. Also offered are calculators, a health directory, and image collections. Although the search box is clear and appears navigable, the home page is cluttered, and advertisements are present throughout the site. The scope of this database is modest, focused on clinical applications and relevant drug information, including dosing and uses, interactions (this is an interactive section, including herbals and over-the-counter medications), adverse effects, warnings, pregnancy considerations, pharmacology, images, patient handouts, and formulary information (allowing the addition of plans for viewing formulary restrictions). Registration is required for drug information access. Misspellings are accounted for via a “did you mean?” feature. Lists of the members of the Medscape advisory board (with affiliations) and academic partners are available. This site is produced in collaboration with WebMD (discussed below).

Both new FDA approvals and pharmaceutical studies are included. A thorough, interactive pill identification and drug interaction tool is an asset. Information may be printed or shared. Contact information (via e-mail) is provided for the editor, with customer support available via e-mail, telephone, or physical address. An affiliated app is offered. Content for the site is created by Medscape and its affiliates (physicians, staff, or other health care professionals), or provided by third parties that are independently evaluated and spot-checked for accuracy. All content is subsequently or concurrently edited according to site policies. Both for-profit and nonprofit information is accepted, so bias is possible. Users will find news, professional meeting notifications, and government reports on the site. Dates of last update and content providers are indicated on individual pages. Information appears current, with the newest monographs provided. Web pages load smoothly. Notably, a specific searching interface (for medications only) and a drug interaction checker are absent in the Medscape Pharmacists app.


Recommended for health care professionals, including pharmacists, and students looking for up-to-date drug information; other sites, such as DailyMed, contain similar information with potentially less bias.