Infomed Drug Guide

Background information on the Infomed Drug Guide

Why should we use a small number of drugs?
The practice of prescribing numerous drugs is not recommended. If we succeed in limiting the number of commonly used drugs, we will gain a significantly better knowledge of these substances. The better we know our pharmaceutical products, the more certain we are in their application, and the smaller the risk of adverse reactions. The drugs selected for this guide represent possible staple constituents for a therapeutic arsenal, which in no way claims to be comprehensive. In fact, it focuses on the common problems in the general practice.

Contrary to a mere listing, the "Infomed Drug Guide" contains critically evaluated, general information on the selected substances, and is to be considered an aid in the daily practice of medicine. The drugs have been selected in such a way that 90% of all the problems occurring in primary medicine, can be dealt with, assuming of course that the problem can be treated pharmacologically. The treatment of the remaining 10% of the problems in primary medicine necessitates another 200 plus drugs. However, it is crucial that an optimal level of knowledge be achieved for all common problems.

This practice-oriented selection is based to a large extent on the personal experiences of the editor. We do not claim to have found the best selection available. As the number of substances has been determined more or less arbitrarily, several of these drugs could be replaced by others with similar properties. This means that an equally small, but individually chosen supply, would also suffice for the requirements of a daily practice. The aim of this model is to demonstrate that limiting one's self to a relatively small number of drugs is not only possible, but advantageous.

How Infomed selects drugs
The selection of each of the drugs in the "Infomed Drug Guide" was realized in view of their importance for the practice and for small hospitals. The decision whether or not to include a drug was taken by the editor who, when in doubt, was counseled by colleagues from the different specialty fields. Even drugs that are clearly not a first choice, may have been incorporated if they are used with great frequency.

With the exception of a few drugs, the included substances are prescribed in primary medicine. We have also included complementary drugs that are usually prescribed by specialists, but are significant in the general practice because of their usefulness in the treatment of common problems. For example; a few important cytostatics, two antiepileptic agents, and so on. Substances that are classified predominantly as specialists' drugs and that do not concern common problems, have not been included (i.e. base therapeutics for chronic polyarthritis).

In a few cases, drugs that are not prescribed regularly have been listed because they can be used in a number of different fields, and therefore, could be important for the general practice (i.e. methotrexate). It should also be mentioned that for practical reasons, this selection deliberately excludes vaccines or infusions - even though there is no doubt as to the importance of these two elements in medical therapy.

If you have any questions concerning the "Infomed Drug Guide", please write to: infomed@infomed.ch

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