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Online Drug Information Resources (June 2015): RxList

By Kristy Steigerwalt


A commercially supported website, RxList ( was founded by pharmacists “to be the premier Internet Drug Index resource.” This text-heavy site includes many advertisements. Most pages are long and narrow and require extensive scrolling, though text modification options are provided. Navigation is enabled via an A-Z list of medications. RxList is owned and operated by WebMD, and has a similar look. The contact page offers e-mail customer service but mentions that turnaround time may be lengthy. Content is divided into portals directed at different audiences, including a section labeled “Patient” within the monographs. Consumer-centered content includes pill identification, images, quizzes, a symptom checker, and supplement information. The site’s prolific links lead to a wide variety of topics related to health care. RxList has a general site search, but no advanced search. Its seemingly greater variety of technical information (compared toWebMD) could be useful for health care students or professionals; included are chemical structures, percentages of side effects within clinical studies, drug interaction information (noninteractive), and clinical pharmacology, among other data. Monograph information appears detailed, reasonably current (with frequent updates and recently released medications), and unbiased. Printable patient handouts are available.

According to the site’s information page, physicians and pharmacists create articles for RxList by using the FDA and First Databank as their sources; however, credentials for individual monographs (including sources) are not listed. Prescription drug information is provided from the Cerner Multum Database, and information on herbal supplements is taken from the previously discussed Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. The site’s general list of authors and editors was last updated approximately one year ago. RxList is a reliable source of detailed drug information; however, the number of advertisements and the need to navigate through lengthy text hinder the utility of the site somewhat.


Recommended for consumers and undergraduate students as a comprehensive resource offering a variety of drug-related information, with the caveat that sites such as may be more beneficial for locating targeted drug information.