Searching for credible information on various drugs can be a daunting task both for professionals and consumers. Web searches often bring up a confusing assortment of information generally inundated with sites that want to sell you something. Just released this month is DrugBank – the worlds largest online database from the University of Alberta, Departments of Computing Science, Biological Science and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. It is described as an “interactive one-stop-shop” that offers detailed drug information for patients, researchers and health-care professionals.
The database began as teaching tool developed by Dr. David Wishart for pharmacy students at the University of Alberta. Wanting to develop one source that offers a broad scope of information, Wishart and his team created DrugBank. DrugBank contains detailed chemical, pharmaceutical, medical and molecular biological information on more than 3000 drug targets and 4100 approved or experimental drugs products.
The database allows pharmacists, physicians, drug researchers and the general public to find out just about everything they need to know about a drug or a drug target. It is the only database of its kind. DrugBank provides more than 80 data fields for each drug including brand names, chemical structures, protein and DNA sequences, links to relevant Internet sites, prescription information and detailed patient information.
As patients take more active roles in their own care, they can access detailed information without searching through scientific literature to find it. For example, a search for “acetaminophen,” on the site, will reveal 197 brand names for products and 26 brand name mixtures that contain it. DrugBank will also tell you how acetaminophen works, its side effects, how it’s absorbed, how it’s metabolized and how to take it.
medications, side-effects, dosage, drug interactions, prescription drugs, over the counter drugs