Drug Information Past Days of “PDR”


Some doctors will remember the time when the most reliable source of information for drugs was the trusted ole PDR, or Physician’s Desk Reference.  Very unwieldy, and sometime complicated to use, it was considered the best source of drug information for any healthcare provider.  Brand names, small type, Generic names, it was very “User UN-friendly”.

This book will find a place next to trephining devices  to burr holes in the skull, to  remove evil humors from the brain.

Now, with iPads, and iPhones, it is much more efficient, quicker, and easier to obtain any information that the users wants, including those sometimes tricky pediatric doses, and interactions.  On this page, we will examine a few of the better Drug Information Apps that one can download onto your internet device.

Epocrates Rx 

This is probably the most popular drug app in the universe. It is free, and includes pictures of pills for patients to identify, if they cannot remember the name.  There is a solid section on checking drug interactions, as well as dose calculations.  Also includes Over the Counter Medications.   

Medscape Mobile 

Huge database, but no dose calulator, like Epocrates.   Available in all platforms.

Micromedex Drug Information 

Same as Medscape, no dosing calculator, available only on iPhone, working on Android. 

Mobile PDR

Appears inferior to above, no dosing calculator, or drug-drug interaction; only available to  to practicing PA’s with a DEA or NPI number and it works on the Skyscape PDA platform for most devices.

Harrisons Practice in the Mobile Merck Medicus

 Suite at has a Drug monograph section that has excellent information provided by Lexi Drugs. One can link to the drug information from the clinical disease article or go directly to the drug monograph. There is no dose calculator, formulary information or Drug-drug interaction checker. This works on most PDA platforms.

Skyscape RxDrugs and CheckRx

Two different programs.  RxDrugs with all the drug information and CheckRx is a checklist of drugs to run an interaction profile. , but does not specify what is caused by the ineractin (pruritus, etc.)  

 Monthly Prescribing Reference – eMPR 

The drugs are organized by body systems.  Designed for fast lookups. by providing  a search tool, no dose calculator, formulary information or drug-drug interaction checker. 

Shots 2011 Immunization schedule

The recommended  immunization schedule from birth to adulthood.This app is free at http://immunizationed.org/ShotsOnline.aspx  

Fingertip Formulary 

Large  drug formulary information listed by state.  Extras for licensees.

Summary: Epocrates Rx is the best, fastest, most complete.  And it is free.  Only weak point is that there is no herbal medications interactions with the free version. It has the best pill identification program.  The best interaction checker that include herbals is Medscape mobile. The most extensive drug information can be found in Micromedex, Harrison’s Practice, Medscape Mobile and RxDrugs. 


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