Bevyn Jarrott and Matthew Hammond
Available for iPhone ($4.49) and Android ($4.99)
Drug Names is a smartphone app primarily targeted at junior doctors. The pharmacological knowledge of new medical graduates is generally weak and the simple task of interpreting a list of a patient’s home medications can be daunting and challenging with so many generic and brand names on the market. This app provides this information at your fingertips and seeks to educate at the same time.
When you first load the app you notice it is very simple. Once downloaded, it does not require an internet connection and uses minimal storage. The search box lists results as you type. The ability to search by any part of a drug name is a useful feature. For example, ‘sartan’ will find you all the angiotensin receptor antagonists as well as the combination products. It contains simple information for each drug including class, common uses, dosage and mechanism of action.
However, as with any resource, the app does have limitations. Less common or new drugs may not be included and the information is intentionally concise for ease of use. There may occasionally be slight anomalies, but overall the information contained is accurate and relevant.
Its simplicity and Australian focus make it far more user-friendly than other resources. For the purposes of a busy junior doctor or a medical student trying to expand their medication knowledge on the go, this app fits the bill. I have found it useful in my own day-to-day activities and would recommend it to all prescribers, nurses and pharmacists of any level.
Clinical pharmacology advanced trainee, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane