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What is MICROMEDEX?

MICROMEDEX is a collection of many different drug databases, including Martindale, the Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR), DRUGDEX, DISEASEDEX, POISONDEX, and several alternative medicine databases [view database list]. Drugs can be searched by trade name, generic name, or even “street” name.  MICROMEDEX is an excellent source of drug indication, dosage, drug interaction and side effect information, as well as poison control information.  It covers all FDA approved medications as well as a database of alternative medicines.  It can produce patient-specific PALS and ACLS emergency dosing sheets for use at the bedside in an ICU situation.  In addition, MICROMEDEX contains a variety of dosing tools, patient education handouts and a “clinical pearls” section, which is a collection of useful medical tables on a variety of topics.

Who is the intended audience for MICROMEDEX?

MICROMEDEX is intended for medical professionals, particularly pharmacists, doctors and nurses, or students of those professions.  The information in the database is usually too technical for a lay audience. 

When should I use MICROMEDEX?

MICROMEDEX is a resource designed to be useful clinically and has a variety of interesting tools to assist medical professionals on the job.  It is particularly appropriate if you are looking for very detailed information on a medication.  MICROMEDEX is the best poison control information database available at UW.

What are the limitations of MICROMEDEX?

MICROMEDEX has a great deal of useful information, but has a bit of a learning curve.  The current interface presents the data in a confusing format that separates out the data from different databases.  This leads to some duplication of information, and often requires some hunting to find exactly what you are looking for.  MICROMEDEX also features a section of tables with clinically useful information available for quick reference, but the tables are poorly formatted text files and the rationale behind some of the content choices is not completely clear.

What are other options to MICROMEDEX?

MICROMEDEX’s major competitor is ePocrates, which is a database widely used in PDA format by medical professionals.  ePocrates and MICROMEDEX are both excellent drug databases, but are designed around somewhat different philosophies.  Where ePocrates has made the conscious decision to present only the most relevant data in an easy to use format, MICROMEDEX has gone in the direction of completeness.  A good example is the way the different databases handle side effects.  ePocrates only lists more common  or serious side effects, while MICROMEDEX also includes case reports of very rare effects, down to single cases of a reported adverse effect.  For quick clinical lookups, ePocrates can be very useful, but for any more detailed information, MICROMEDEX is often a better choice.

Page last updated: September 18, 2012
Questions or suggestions? Contact Chris Hooper-Lane