that is useful for personnel who are involved in both inpatient and outpatient pharmacy
practice. Annual supplements to the reference ensure that it contains the latest
information on the state of the art of pharmacy.
n. United States Pharmacopoeia Dispensing Information. The United States
Pharmacopoeia Convention, Inc publishes the United States Pharmacopoeia
Dispensing Information annual publication. This reference is designed to be used by
individuals who dispense drugs and by persons who administer drugs after the drugs
have been prescribed. The following information about a drug is discussed in the text:
category of use, precautions to use, (that is, drug interactions and medical warnings),
drug preparation immediately prior to administration, side effects with an indication of
their significance, guidelines for patient consultation on safe and effective use of the
drug, dosing information, and requirements for packaging and storage. One section,
"Advice for the Patient," provides guidelines for patient use of the drug. These
guidelines are written in lay terms. Bimonthly updates keep the information in the
United States Pharmacopeial Dispensing Information current.
Section IV. ELECTRONIC DRUG INFORMATION SERVICES
As with journals and texts, electronic forms of drug information are now available
to pharmacy personnel. Most of the reference texts discussed previously are available
on CD-ROM for single or network use. Some examples are Facts and Comparisons,
the PDR, and Clinical Pharmacology. The advantages of this form of information
include easy access to information and timely updates (monthly, quarterly,
semiannually). Micromedex is another information system available as a subscription
at most military pharmacies. Micromedex provides drug information monographs, drug
identification (Identidex), poison information (Poisindex), material safety data sheets,
Martindale's Extra Pharmacopeoia, AfterCare Notes, as well as many other options.
The majority of these systems are user friendly and easy to use with minimal
The most current information about drug use, even prior to approval by the Food
and Drug Administration, is available in medical journals. Medical journals are
accessed through on-line searches such as Medline and Grateful Med. Many U.S.
medical teaching institutions and major medical centers offer search capabilities via the
Internet or through their respective medical libraries. The use of on-line information
services often requires a thorough orientation to perform a good search.