NLM Releases RxClass Drug Class Application

RxClass is a new application from researchers in the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications (LHNCBC) at the National Library of Medicine (NLM). RxClass allows users to search and browse drug classes and their RxNorm drug members through a simple Web interface. Unlike RxNav, a related application from NLM LHNCBC which focuses on browsing and searching individual RxNorm drugs, RxClass provides a class-centric view of the drug information in RxNorm. RxClass links drug classes with several drug sources to their RxNorm drug members (ingredients, precise ingredients and multiple ingredients).

From the NLM press release, October 22, 2014

RxClass is a new application from researchers in the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications (LHNCBC) at the National Library of Medicine (NLM). RxClass allows users to search and browse drug classes and their RxNorm drug members through a simple Web interface (see Figure 1). Unlike RxNav, a related application from NLM LHNCBC which focuses on browsing and searching individual RxNorm drugs, RxClass provides a class-centric view of the drug information in RxNorm.

RxClass Homepage.
Figure 1: RxClass Homepage.

Drug Class Sources
RxClass includes drug classes from the following data sources:

  • ATC – The Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) drug classification is a resource developed for pharmacoepidemiology purposes by the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology.
  • MeSH – The Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), developed by NLM, provides a rich description of pharmacological actions for the purpose of indexing and retrieval of biomedical articles.
  • NDFRT – The National Drug File-Reference Terminology (NDFRT), developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), provides clinical information about drugs, such as therapeutic intent and mechanism of action.RxClass includes six sets ofNDFRT drug classes:
    1. Established Pharmacologic Classes (EPC)
    2. Chemical Structure (Chem)
    3. Disease
    4. Mechanism of Action (MoA)
    5. Physiologic Effect (PE)
    6. Pharmacokinetics (PK)

Drug Class Relationship Sources
RxClass includes five sources which assert relationships between drugs and drug classes from ATC, MeSH, and NDFRT:

  1. ATC – provides relationships between ATC drugs and ATC drug classes.
  2. MeSH – provides relationships between MeSH drugs and MeSH pharmacologic actions.
  3. DailyMed – provides relationships between substances in DailyMed Structured Product Labels (SPLs) and NDFRT EPC, Chem, MoA, and PE classes.
  4. NDFRT – provides relationships between NDFRT drug concepts and NDFRT Chem, Disease, MoA, PE, and PK classes.
  5. FDA SPL – provides relationships between NDFRT drug concepts mapped to DailyMed SPL substances and NDFRT EPC, Chem, MoA, and PE classes.

Drug Source
RxClass includes drugs from the sources mentioned above, which are mapped to ingredients (IN), precise ingredients (PIN), and multiple ingredients (MIN) in RxNorm. RxNorm is a normalized naming system for generic and branded drugs developed by NLM to allow computer systems in hospitals, pharmacies, and other organizations to communicate drug-related information efficiently and unambiguously.

Browse Drug Classes
RxClass provides a simple tree browser for navigating through drug class hierarchies. You can click on the orange arrow next to a class to reveal its subclasses in the tree. Clicking on the name of a drug class populates the results area under the search box with the members of that class, if applicable, and the name, source identifier, class type, and contexts for that class (see Figure 2).

RxClass Class Browser. Navigate drug classes by clicking the arrows or class names.
Figure 2: RxClass Class Browser. Navigate drug classes by clicking the arrows or class names.

Search by Drug Class/RxNorm Drug
RxClass also provides access to drug classes and their RxNorm drug members through a simple search box (see Figure 3). You can search RxClass by:

  1. Drug class name or source identifier
  2. RxNorm drug name or RxNorm identifier (RXCUI)

For drug classes and RxNorm drugs in multiple contexts, RxClass presents all of the contexts, allowing you to select the desired drug class context to populate the results area.

Search RxClass by drug class or RxNorm drug name.
Figure 3: Search RxClass by drug class or RxNorm drug name.

Results Display
When browsing or searching RxClass, the results display is populated with the drug class you selected and the RxNorm drugs that belong to the class (see Figure 4). For each RxNorm drug, RxClass displays the:

  • Type (RxNorm term type)
  • RxNorm Name
  • Source ID (Unique identifier from drug class source)
  • Source Name (Name from drug class source)
  • Relation (Relationship between the drug and the selected drug class (direct or indirect))
  • All classes (All drug classes of which this drug is also a member)

RxClass results display: Shows RxNorm and drug class source data for your results.
Figure 4: RxClass results display: Shows RxNorm and drug class source data for your results.

Application Programming Interface (API)
Behind the RxClass Web application is a set of API functions. The RxClass API can be used independently for integrating drug class information into programs.

See the RxClass Overview and RxClass FAQ for more information about browsing and searching drug classes on RxClass. An RxClass turorial is forthcoming.

For questions, comments or feedback about these resources, please contact us at


By Patrick McLaughlin
MEDLARS Management Section


Share on Facebook

Another good free online statistics textbook

 Online Statistics Education is designed and developed by David Lane at Rice University, with  co-authors and funding from the National Science Foundation. All chapters include multiple video presentations on such topics as quantitative variables, histograms, and one-factor ANOVA.  Useful for students and practitioners of almost every field whcih depends on statistical modeling, from politics to biomedicine to plate tectonics.

Other useful statistical textbooks may be found at the University of Toledo Library Guide – Locating Health Statistics.

Having challenges finding information? locating a resource? working with library resoruces? dealing with Endnote?
Please do not hesitate to consult with us. Your choice of contact points at Ask a Librarian!

Share on Facebook

ethnomed [Resource of the Week]

ethnomedFrom the about page

EthnoMed is Harborview Medical Center’s ethnic medicine website containing medical and cultural information about immigrant and refugee groups. Information is specific to groups in the Seattle area, but much of the cultural and health information is of interest and applicable in other geographic areas. EthnoMed is a joint program of the University of Washington Health Sciences Libraries and Harborview Medical Center’s Interpreter Services Department/Community House Calls Program (ISD/CHC).  EthnoMed is directed by clinical faculty in the Department of General Internal Medicine’s Refugee and Immigrant Health Promotion Program at Harborview, and maintains roots in the Pediatrics Department and strong connections in the International Medicine Clinic.  The EthnoMed team works with caseworker cultural mediators, medical interpreters, health care providers and ethnic community leaders who serve as authors and advisers of the web content.

The Cultures page includes ethnic specific cultural profiles, clinical topics, patient education materials and more.  Clinical topics are arranged by topic, culture, and cross-cultural health.

Related resources

Share on Facebook

New Tutorial: Searching Drugs or Chemicals in PubMed

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is pleased to announce a new PubMed Tutorial: Searching Drugs or Chemicals in PubMed.The tutorial offers tips on effectively and efficiently searching PubMed for drugs and chemicals.
Nine brief modules with video demonstrations include guidance on substance-related Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), using the MeSH Database, effective searching with pharmacological action terms, converting special characters in systematic names, and using tags in searching.The new tutorial complements the suite of PubMed tutorials, Webinars and classes accessible by clicking PubMed Tutorials from the homepage of PubMed (see Figure 1).

Screen capture of the PubMed homepage with the link to the PubMed Tutorials highlighted
Figure 1: The PubMed homepage with a link to the PubMed Tutorials.
As always, please contact Mulford Reference with your information and research needs.  We are here to consult with you in areas including locating articles, searching databases, performing literature searches, demystifying EndNote, and more!
Share on Facebook

Complementary Health Practices for U.S. Military, Veterans, and Families


From the NCCAM Web page

Many military personnel and veterans experience chronic pain, a condition that can be debilitating and is often difficult to treat. Post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, depression, and substance use are other conditions that tend to co-occur in these same service members and are also challenging to treat. Opioid medications are often prescribed for chronic pain conditions, but use and misuse of opioids resulting in hospitalizations and death has been on the rise. A study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine examined the prevalence of chronic pain and opioid use among U.S. soldiers following deployment. The researchers found that of the more than 2,500 participants surveyed, 44 percent had chronic pain and 15 percent regularly used opioids—rates much higher than the general population.

Many military, veterans, and their families turn to complementary and integrative health approaches such as mindfulness meditation and other practices in an effort to enhance the options for the management of pain and associated problems. This page provides resources and information on health conditions of special concern to military, veterans, and their families and the complementary and integrative health practices being studied for this population.

Share on Facebook

A quick way to discover possible subject headings for biomedical articles [Resource of the Week]

Have a self published biomedical paper or article and looking for subject term possibilities? The US National Library of Medicine (who publish PubMed) has a free related software program. Enter text at MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) on demand and the results is a list of possible relevant MeSH terms.

MeSH on Demand Logo

MeSH on Demand identifies MeSH Terms in your text using the NLM Medical Text Indexer (MTI) program. After processing, MeSH on Demand returns a list of MeSH Terms relevant to your text. For more information about MeSH on Demand, please see our NLM Technical Bulletin article.
  • Please Note: This tool is NOT intended for processing personally identifiable, sensitive or protected-health information. The system is not configured for secure communications. It is your responsibility to NOT submit any personally identifiable, sensitive or protected-health information.

[Box to enter text, up to 10,000 characters]

Helpful Hints:

  • Typical MTI processing takes approximately 30 – 45 seconds. Processing time depends on the amount of text provided – the more text, the longer MTI takes to process.
  • Provide well-defined sentences. Long lists without sentence breaks force MTI to take longer to process and may end without any results. If your input text contains Non-ASCII characters, an attempt is made to convert the text to ASCII before processing with MTI.
  • The results provided by MeSH on Demand are a simple list of MeSH Terms that MTI identifies as being relevant to your text. Each of the identified MeSH Terms has a link to the corresponding MeSH Browser Web page for that MeSH Term…

    Full Disclaimer: The MeSH on Demand MeSH Terms are machine generated by MTI and DO NOT reflect any human review. MTI may recommend MeSH Terms not explicitly found in the text and may not recommend MeSH Terms that are in the text. This is a result of machine logic that attempts to emulate human indexer behavior in characterizing biomedically relevant parts of the text. These results will undoubtedly differ from any human-generated indexing.

Want to know more about MeSH?

Go to PubMed@UT, Click on MeSH database, then NLM MeSH HomePage.
Click on MeSH on Demand.

MeshDemanAs always, please do not hesitate to contact a Mulford reference librarian with your research and information needs. For example, we are happy to consult with you on PubMed and database searches.


Share on Facebook

A Few Ebola Resources for HealthCare Professionals and All

Especially for HealthCare Professional and Students

For All

Recent related literature search results

Related News items

As always, do not hesitate to contact a Mulford Reference Librarian with your information and research needs. We are happy to consult with you on matters great and small.

Share on Facebook

Recent additions to the NLM Drug Information Portal include clinical experience with drugs and dietrary supplement information

NLMDrugFrom the NLM-TOX-ENVIRO-HEALTH-L Digest –  2 Oct 2014 to 7 Oct 2014 

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Drug Information Portal  is a free web resource that provides an informative, user–friendly gateway to current drug information for over 53,000 substances. The Portal links to sources from the NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies such as the U.S. FDA.

Current information regarding consumer health, clinical trials, AIDS–related drug information, MeSH® pharmacological actions, PubMed® biomedical literature, and physical properties and structure is easily retrieved by searching a drug name. A varied selection of focused topics in medicine and drug–related information is also available from displayed subject headings.

The Drug Portal retrieves by the generic or trade name of a drug or its category of usage.  Records provide a description of how the drug is used, its chemical structure and nomenclature, and include up to 20 Resource Locators which link to more information in other selected resources.   Recent additions to these Locators include clinical experience with drugs in PubMed Health, substances reviewed in NLM LiverTox, information from the Dietary Supplement Label Database, and drug images in the Pillbox beta .

Data in the Drug Information Portal is updated daily, and is also available on mobile devices.

More information can be found at


Additional drug resources may be found at the UT Library Guide Pharmacy Guide – Drug Information


Share on Facebook

Journal Supplement Examines Innovative Strategies for Healthy Aging



The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) has announced the publication of Health Education & Behavior (HE&B) supplement devoted to the latest research and practice to promote healthy aging. All articles in the HE&B supplemental issue are provided through open access.

Articles in the supplement include:

·  Developing a Framework and Priorities to Promote Mobility Among Older Adults
“Mobility, broadly defined as movement in all of its forms from ambulation to transportation, is critical to supporting optimal aging. This article describes two projects to develop a framework and a set of priority actions designed to promote mobility among community-dwelling older adults.”

·  Preparing the Workforce for Healthy Aging Programs. The Skills for Healthy Aging Resources and Programs (SHARP) Model.
“Current public health and aging service agency personnel have little training in gerontology, and virtually no training in evidence-based health promotion and disease management programs for older adults. These programs are rapidly becoming the future of our community-based long-term care support system. The purpose of this project was to develop and test a model community college career technical education program..”

The UT Library subscribes to Health Education & Behavior. Looking for additional articles in this journal or other public health articles? Great suggestions at the Health Sciences Program Library Guide.  Also, do not forget to contact a Mulford Reference Librarian with your information and research needs!


Share on Facebook

Still time to enter Skeleton Costume Contest!

Our beloved skeleton Perry has been way too busy studying lately to pay attention to his wardrobe.  So, as part of National Medical Librarians Month throughout October, the library is going to dress him up in a variety of costumes!  Be sure to vote for your favorite!  Follow us on Facebook to “like” your favorite costume.  By voting or “liking”, you’ll automatically be entered in a drawing to win prizes.  The final round of voting will occur in the library toward the end of October.  Stay tuned for details.

If you’d like to dress up Perry and have your costume entered in the contest, please fill out the form located here; there’s still time to enter!   If your costume wins, you’ll get coffee and donuts delivered to the campus location of your choice (except for the library – we have a no food policy).

Share on Facebook