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BMS263 Research Skills Guide: AMH

An online tutorial to help with Assessment One in BMS263

What is the Australian Medicines Handbook (AMH)?

""The Australian Medicines Handbook (AMH) is an up-to-date online resource providing information about most of the therapeutic drugs marketed in Australia.

It includes information on indications, precautions, dosage, adverse effects, and drug interactions.



The online Handbook is updated twice yearly (in January and July of each year). Please note that CSU has only 2 concurrent user licences for this resource. (If you can't get access, simply try again at another time.)

Finding Drugs by Browsing

AMH homepageThe AMH home page has:

  • a tab for chapters
  • tabs for browse lists of drugs, interactions, and therapeutics
  • a drop-down menu for calculators
  • a search box
  • additional and supporting information
  • other AMH online resources.

You can use the browse list of drugs to find information on a specific drug. Click on the Drugs link in the main (top) menu-bar, for a browse list of generic names, or one of brand names.




AMH Analgesics pagThe AMH content is also organised in "chapters", each one representing a broad group of drugs. (See, for example, the chapter on Analgesics at right.) You can access these via the Chapters tab in the main (top) menu bar.

Within each chapter there is:

  • therapeutic information
  • drug information
  • tables.

The Drug information section lists the drugs by their generic name. You can drill down through the list to arrive at a drug monograph.

Each drug monograph includes sections on:

  • mode of action
  • indications
  • precautions
  • adverse effects
  • dosage
  • comparative information
  • counselling
  • practice points
  • products.

Finding Drugs by Searching

The search box displays on every page. Type your search term in the box.

  • After you have typed at least 2 letters, you might see a list of matching terms. These are terms that are indexed in the content, and selecting a term will take you to the page for that term (eg. to the drug monograph for a drug name).
  • If you don't select an indexed term, your search will be for your search term in the full text of the content. To search for a phrase (eg diabetic foot) enclose it in double-quotation marks. You can't use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT).
  • If you don't know the exact spelling, just type at least the first 3 letters, and you will get partial-match results.
  • When you do this type of search (across the full text), you might get several results. Drug monographs will display by default, but you can choose to view results for classes, interactions, therapeutic information or other (eg tables, guides and appendices). Results with the search term in the title or heading will display first.

Example: Result of selecting ertapenem as an indexed term (you get the drug monograph):    











Example: Result of searching for ertapenem across the full text (you get several results):


Finding Drug Interactions

There are at least two ways to find drug-drug interactions.

1. When you have searched for, or browsed to, a drug, the Drug Monograph, includes, at the top, a link to any drug interactions.

For example, the screen-shot, of the drug monograph for Ertapenem, in the box above, shows that there is a link for:
For drug interactions see Carbapenems.

2. You can use the Interactions tab in the main (top) menu-bar to browse or search for drug interactions.

In the browse list, you might get a match for an individual drug or for its class. (For example, the entry for Ertapenem has Ertapenem, see Carbapenems.)

Similarly, in the results, you might get a result for a drug class rather than an individual drug. For example, if you use the Drug interactions search feature to search for warfarin and erythromycin (which is a macrolide), you will see the result for warfarin + macrolides:

In the AMH Drug Interactions module, a search for warfarin as the first drug and erythromycin as the second result displays entrie for Warfarin, Macrolides, and Erythromycin, and  the result for warfarin + macrolides

Each result includes a brief description of the interaction and any action that might need to be taken.

The screen-shot shows that there is a link to the tables, within the text. There is also a link in the Interactions left menu-bar. AMH includes four tables:

  • Drugs that may increase the risk of seizures
  • Drugs with anticholinergic effects
  • Drugs and P-glycoprotein
  • Drugs and CYP enzymes.

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