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Universiteitsbibliotheek – LibGuides

Drug and Disease Information: Find out more

Literature search

There are different kinds of information (factual information, statistical information, images, patents, systematic reviews, ...). These different kinds of information are often found in more than one type of information source.

A well-balanced literature research usually requires information from various kinds of information sources. So mostly you will need to use more than one information source.

Knowing what type of question you need to answer will help you determine where to look for the kind of information you need.

Examples of different kinds of information needed  Examples of information sources to find the anwers
What are the pharmacokinetic data of Ibuprofen? PubMed, Embase
What are the effects of Ibuprofen in breastfed infants? LactMed, PubMed, Embase
What is the chemical synthesis (single step reaction, high product yield) of Ibuprofen? Reaxys
What is the efficacy of Ibuprofen treatment for people with Alzheimer's disease? Cochrane Library, PubMed, Embase

Where to look for information (information source) varies depending on the type of information needed.

These two tips will get you started immediately:

Search Techniques & Tactics

  • Scan the reference lists of selected articles for relevant references
  • Scan key articles for (more) relevant keywords or descriptors  
  • Identify new articles that have cited a key article (Web of Science or Scopus)
  • Identify key journals (Journal Citation Reports) and scan their issues
  • Identify key authors and search for articles that they have published

Categories of Drug Information

Knowing what type of question you need to answer will help you determine where to look for the kind of information you need.

For example, 

Some common categories regarding drugs:

  • Drug synthesis
  • Drug analysis
  • Drug dosage form (release, controlled release)
  • Toxicology information (toxicity and toxicology of impurities)
  • Pharmcology/pharmacodynamics
  • Therapeutic indication
  • Route of administration
  • Specific patient groups: adult, child, neborn, male, female
  • Contraindications
  • Interaction with other drugs or substances
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Adverse effects (safety)
  • Dosage information (intoxication, overdosage)
  • Bioavailability
  • Animal studies
  • Clinical trials 

Drug Information Resources provides resources that may be useful for specific categories of drug or disease information.

Categories of Disease Information

Some common categories regarding diseases:

  • Definition
  • Epidemiology
  • Etiology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Clinical findings (sign and symptoms, laboratory tests, diagnostic studies)
  • Treatment (medical, surgical, radiation, biologic and gene therapies, other)
  • Prevention and control
  • Risk factors
  • Complications
  • Prognosis

Drug Information Resources provides resources that may be useful for specific categories of drug or disease information.