Print Sources

AHFS Drug Information. Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, various years. This frequently updated manual of the American Hospital

Formulary Service is a standard source of information used by heath care professionals seeking information about therapeutic drugs.

Brecher, E.M., and the Editors of Consumer Reports. Licit and Illicit Drugs: The Consumers Union Report on Narcotics, Stimulants, Depressants, Inhalants, Hallucinogens, and Marijuana—Including Caffeine, Nicotine, and Alcohol. Boston: Little, Brown, 1972. This classic volume remains unsurpassed for frank and accurate information about drugs of abuse.

Dollery, C., ed. Therapeutic Drugs. 2d ed. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1999. The alphabetical format of listings make this source easy to use, and it also contains references to scientific studies.

Goodman, L.S., and A. Gilman. The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001. Often referred to as "Goodman & Gilman," this reference work has gone through many editions as decades have passed, demonstrating its continued usefulness for key information about therapeutic drugs. Earlier editions remain well worth consulting.

Lewis, W.H., and M.P.F. Elvin-Lewis. Medical Botany: Plants Affecting Man's Health. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1977. This is a reputable source of information about natural products having drug actions.

Martindale: The Extra Pharmacopoeia. 31st ed. London: Pharmaceutical Press, 1996. Health care givers around the world rely on this standard reference book containing information about therapeutic drugs. As with many multi-edition reference works, earlier editions can be useful.

McGuffin, M., ed. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1997. This book provides cautions about natural products.

Millspaugh, C.F. American Medicinal Plants. Philadelphia: John C. Yorston & Company, 1892. Reprint, New York: Dover Publications, 1974. This classic guide is of historical interest, showing how natural products were once used.

Morton, J.F. Major Medicinal Plants: Botany, Culture and Uses. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, 1977. This volume is a reliable source of information.

Mosby's GenRx: A Comprehensive Reference for Generic and Brand Prescription Drugs. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, various years. This reference book is frequently updated. Its alphabetical format makes it easy to use. The title has slightly changed from earlier editions.

PDR for Herbal Medicines. 2d ed. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company, 2000. This authoritative book does for herbal products what the Physicians' Desk Reference does for prescription drugs. Hundreds of herbal preparations are described.

Physicians' Desk Reference. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company. Often called simply PDR, this reference source describes thousands of legal drugs, with the descriptions containing information approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, making this volume one of the most authoritative and widely used books on the topic. The printed version is updated annually, and a CD-ROM version is updated more often.

Weiner, Michael A. Weiner's Herbal. New York: Stein and Day, 1980. This is a reliable source of information about natural products that contain drugs.


Building Better Health

This excellent source of therapeutic drug information is sponsored by a health services and products company.

Bureau of Justice Statistics 810 Seventh Street, NW Washington, DC 20531 (202) 307-0765

This agency of the U.S. Department of Justice provides a wide variety of current and historical statistics about illegal usage of drugs and about many other crime-related issues. The Internet Web site includes links to statistical information at other sites.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Road

Atlanta, GA 30333

(404) 639-3534

(800) 311-3435

Although this federal agency's site has relatively little about drugs in general, this Internet address is useful for data about tobacco.


This service of the National Library of Medicine allows persons to obtain brief descriptions of drugs, including Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Numbers, molecular formulas, and alternate names for substances. The CAS numbers can be particularly valuable, not only for confirming identity of a drug but for getting more information from other databases.

Code of Federal Regulations

At this address a person can access the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), among other items. The official federal schedules of controlled substances can be found in the CFR under Title 21, part 1308. A drug's schedule status can change, and the CFR can be used to confirm a drug's current status. Another official source is the United States Code (see below).

Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN)

DAWN is an important information system supervised by the Office of Applied Studies in a federal agency called the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (see below). DAWN produces reports concerning statistics it gathers about drug-related injuries and deaths. Those numbers do not necessarily reveal whether drug-related incidents are drug caused but are useful for tracking trends in popularity of various drugs.

Drug Enforcement Administration Information Services Section (CPI) 2401 Jefferson Davis Highway Alexandria, VA 22301

In addition to information about law enforcement efforts, in links to "Drugs of Concern" and "Drugs of Abuse" the DEA's Web site provides official information about individual substances. Another link leads to assorted statistics.

Drug Enforcement Administration Diversion Control Program

This web site has lists of schedules and also statistics on amounts of various drugs legally manufactured in various years. The home page of Diversion Control Program has links to the Code of Federal Regulations. The schedules index page has a link to a list of controlled substances scheduling actions, giving a brief chronology showing when various drugs were put into various schedules.

Drug Policy Alliance 925 9th Avenue New York, NY 10019 (212) 548-0695 925 15th Street NW Washington, DC 20005 (202) 216-0035

This organization encourages drug control through means other than harsh criminal sanctions, and the organization questions many standard government policies. Through this Web site a person can obtain information about specific drugs, submit questions, and link to other drug information sources. The organization has offices in more than one city.

This Web site is run by Drugsite Trust, described on the site as "a not for profit trust dedicated to providing free, unbiased information on over the counter (OTC) and prescription medicines." Information includes technical monographs.


This index of therapeutic drugs originates in South Africa and includes information about drug varieties having no medical use in the United States.


This site contains a vast amount of information about drugs of abuse, along with links to still more sources. Site visitors can submit questions. The sponsoring organization believes that current government drug control policy is misguided. Although the site contains comments from persons who advocate recreational drug use, the site also contains stories from persons who suffered catastrophic consequences from such use. Used judiciously, the site can produce substantial quantities of solid data.

Food and Drug Administration 5600 Fishers Lane Rockville, MD 20857-0001 (888) 463-6332

The home page of this prestigious and respected source of scientific drug information gives a visitor various choices for obtaining information, including a search function that scans enormous numbers of government documents, and offers selections relevant to a person's inquiry.


This is one of several Web sites from the National Library of Medicine. Through Gateway visitors can search various scientific databases for information about drugs.


If any Web site deserves the adjective "awesome," Google is it. In a few seconds Google can search hundreds of millions of Web sites to find information about a topic. The quality of information may vary greatly, as Google will locate not only sites of great scientific institutions but personal Web sites of persons who are long on ranting and short on knowledge. If, however, an Internet user is at a loss on where to find information about a topic or is merely curious about the variety of data available, Google may well provide a jumpstart.


Many natural product descriptions can be found at this site. The organization is friendly to using herbs for medical purposes.


This address leads a person to an index of information about many drugs of abuse. The sponsoring organization favors fewer legal restrictions on drug use, but for that very reason a person can find information about nonmedical substances that are ignored in sources devoted strictly to describing therapeutic pharmaceuticals.

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)

This advocacy organization seeks data that will allow various prohibited drugs to become accepted. Links on the page provide access to such information.

National Institute on Drug Abuse 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 5213 Bethesda, MD 20892-9651 (301) 443-1124

NIDA is a U.S. government agency that sponsors many scientific studies. Much of that information is accessible through this Web site. Statistics may be found here.

National Library of Medicine

This site can be used to obtain vast amounts of scientific information about drugs. Novartis

The drug database page of Novartis Foundation for Gerontology is at this address.

Office of National Drug Control Policy Drug Policy Information Clearinghouse P.O. Box 6000 Rockville, MD 20849-6000 (800) 666-3332

The so-called Drug Czar heads this agency. Its Web site can lead users to information about drugs and about many facets of drug control policy.

Partnership for Responsible Drug Information

14 West 68th Street

New York, NY 10023

(212) 362-1964

Partnership for Responsible Drug Information (PRDI) is an organization that strives to present drug information from experts who disagree with some government drug control policies. Many links to still more sources can be found at: drugindx.html


PubMed is another service from the National Library of Medicine. PubMed includes Medline, one of medicine's first electronic databases, which can direct a person to science journal articles about many drugs. Typically PubMed allows users to see summaries of those articles.


This index of information about therapeutic drugs is sponsored by a company selling various health-related products.

Schaffer Library of Drug Policy

This information resource includes electronic versions of classic reports about drugs, along with large quantities of recent information. The home page of DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy at http:/ contains links to still more sources. "DRC" is the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which is an activist group opposing government drug policies.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

5600 Fishers Lane

Rockville, MD 20857

Office of Communications (OC)

(301) 443-8956

SAMHSA is a federal government agency. Many statistics and other types of drug information are available at this site. An important part of this site is the Office of Applied Studies, which offers many reports. The Drug Abuse Warning Network (see above) is part of the Office of Applied Studies.

Tobacco BBS (Electronic Bulletin Board System)

Village Station

New York, NY 10014-0359

(212) 982-4645

This massive collection of information specializes in tobacco and is sponsored by an organization concerned about health problems caused by smoking.


This database is another service of the National Library of Medicine, providing information from science journals. From this page a person can access Toxline, ChemIDPlus, PubMed, and other information services.

United States Code

The U.S. Code (USC) is an official collection of all federal laws currently in effect. These include the schedule status of controlled substances found in Title 21, chapter 13, section 812. Like the Code of Federal Regulations (see above), USC is an authoritative source for substances' schedule status.

Continue reading here: Drug Name Index

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