On-call websites and information resources

Last updated: Friday, July 08, 2016

The weblinks below may be helpful to you when on-call. We're not endorsing any of these resources as essential for providing an on-call service, simply providing a convenient list and drawing attention to their potential value if you have access. Some of these websites require logins and passwords. You can download a Word version of this list which allows you to record your logins/passwords or add other local information if you want to.

We will keep these links up-to-date, but please contact us if any are broken or if there are additional sites that you think should be included. The sites below are free unless indicated otherwise. We hope soon to have an on-call app that will allow you to download this entire website list directly to your mobile phone.

In addition to the links below, your Trust's guidelines should be accessible to you when on-call. Also, if you have an MI centre at your hospital you may find it helpful to arrange for access to MiDatabank, the database that archives all the clinical enquiries that have been answered.

General references

  • BNF - Quick , concise and useful answers for many problems.
  • eMC - Manufacturers' SPCs are good for a range of problems including dose, administration, adverse reactions, and interactions.
  • Martindale - On subscription via MedicinesComplete. Use for doses, adverse effects, and identifying foreign medicines. Contains information about unlicensed indications.
  • AHFS Drug InformationOn subscription via MedicinesComplete. Use for doses, adverse effects, and administration. An American resource so note differences between US and UK product names, formulations, and marketing authorisations (‘product licences’).
  • Micromedex - Subscription needed. Particularly useful for unlicensed indications, but also doses and ADRs. An American resource so note differences between US and UK as above.
  • NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries - Helpful evidence-based summaries of the treatment of common medical conditions.
  • Specialist Pharmacy Service - Has Medicines Q&As about various clinical subjects and information about items left out of the fridge.

Administration of medicines

  • Handbook of Drug Administration via Enteral Feeding TubesOn subscription via MedicinesComplete. Use for questions about patients with enteral feeding tubes, but also has information regarding interactions with feeds.
  • NEWT Guidelines - Subscription needed. Similar to above, but has additional information about patients with swallowing difficulties. Note that some guidance may be based on local practice rather than published research.
  • eMC - For advice on injection methods, dilution, preparation, and dose.
  • Injectable Medicines Guide ('Medusa') - Login details needed. Useful for most aspects of administering injectable medicines.
  • UKCPA Minimum Infusion Volume guide - For guidance on administering parenteral medicines to fluid-restricted patients.

Breastfeeding

Although it's not very likely you'll be asked about this subject when on-call, there are two very good free websites that will help you with most problems:
  • Specialist Pharmacy Service (SPS) - type medicine into search engine and select it from the drop down list, then scroll to bottom of the page to look at the 'Lactation Safety Information' section.
  • Lactmed - note this is an American site.

Children

There are two websites that provide quick, concise and useful information for most clinical problems involving children:
  • BNF-C 
  • Evelina London Paediatric Formulary (formerly Guy's and St Thomas's Formulary)
  • The Neonatal Formulary is a helpful book for drug doses in neonates/infants, and your Trust may have a paper copy or access to this as an e-book

Compatibility of injections

  • Handbook on Injectable Drugs ('Trissel')On subscription via MedicinesComplete. Use for advice about mixing in same line, bag or syringe. Note it is an American resource so formulations may differ to those used in the UK.
  • Palliative Care Formulary - Subscription needed. Provides data on mixing some combinations of drugs in syringe drivers.
  • Andrew Dickman and Jennifer Schneider’s book The Syringe Driver is available in paper form not online, but has information about mixing medicines in syringe drivers.

Interactions

  • eMC - often comprehensive for each drug, but may not offer advice on management.
  • Stockley's Drug InteractionsOn subscription via MedicinesComplete. Gives advice on managing interactions and their clinical importance.
  • The Transformer cytochrome p450 site is a database of medicines that are metabolised by this group of enzymes or which inhibit or induce them. It may help you predict metabolic interactions dependent upon their interaction with cytochrome p450.
  • HIV Drug Interactions Checker - a valuable site from the University of Liverpool.
  • Most of the General references, above, may also be helpful depending on what you're asked.

Liver

  • eMC - this may give data on dose adjustment in liver disease and/or notable hepatic side effects.
  • Livertox - information on drug-induced liver disease and its management; indexed by name of medicine, herbal product, street drug etc. An American site.
  • Most of the General references, above, may also be helpful depending on what you're asked.

Palliative care

  • Palliative Care Formulary - Subscription needed. Advice on drug selection, dosage and compatibility in syringes.
  • Andrew Dickman and Jennifer Schneider’s book The Syringe Driver is available in paper form not online, but has information about mixing medicines in syringe drivers.

Poisoning

  • Pharmacists are not experts on poisonings, and you should normally ask the person contacting you to ring the National Poisons Information Service themselves.
  • Toxbase - has clinical advice on poisonings including antidotes.

Pregnancy

Certain pregnancy enquiries may be able to wait until the next working day for a more considered opinion from e.g. an MI centre, but two helpful online resources are:
  • UK Teratology Information Service - this page provides publicly available summaries of the risks of many drugs in pregnancy, but for more detailed information you will need to log into Toxbase as described on the site. 
  • Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation ('Briggs') - Subscription needed. Your Trust may have online access to this via e.g. the publisher or MedicinesComplete

Psychiatry

  • The Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines in Psychiatry is a helpful guide to clinical problem-solving, and your Trust may have a paper copy or access to the e-book.
  • Psychotropic Drug Directory (Stephen Bazire) is a valuable book covering all aspects of the use of medicines in psychiatry, but it is only available in paper format.

Renal

  • eMC - this may give data on dose adjustment in renal disease and/or notable renal side effects.
  • Renal Drug DatabaseSubscription needed. May offer advice on dosing in renal disease if the eMC cannot help.
  • Most of the General references, above, can also be helpful depending on what you're asked.

Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM)

  • If you don't have local guidelines to operate by, the table of TDM drugs on this website may help you with basic details about monitoring but guidance may vary per Trust.