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Pharmacy Research Skills Guide: Australian Medicines Handbook

What is the Australian Medicines Handbook (AMH)?

""The Australian Medicines Handbook is an up-to-date, comparative online resource providing information about most of the therapeutic drugs marketed in Australia. It is produced jointly by 3 organisations - the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists (ASCEPT), the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia - and is a required resource for practising Australian pharmacists.

It includes information on indications, precautions, dosage, adverse effects, and drug interactions, and the content includes new drugs, blood products, immunoglobulins, and specialised drugs. There is a also a set of "Guides" which provide general guidance on prescribing, and specific advice about medication use in special populations such as pregnant women.

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.)

For more information, see the summary that accompanies the listing of this resource on CSU Library's Pharmacy Databases page.

Browsing the content in AMH

AMH homepageThe AMH home page has:

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

You can use the browse list of drugs to find information on a specific drug. If you click on the Drugs link in the main menu-bar, you can get a browse list of generic names, or one of brand names.

 

 

 

AMH Analgesics pageThe AMH content is also organised in "chapters", each one representing a broad group of drugs.

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 actions
  • indications
  • precautions
  • adverse effects
  • dosage
  • comparative information
  • counselling
  • practice points
  • products.

Searching in AMH

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 by clicking (desktop) or tapping (mobile device) will take you to the page for that term (e.g. 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.

                                                                           

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

AMH ertapenem results as an indexed term

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

 

AMH result for ertapenem as a full-text search

 

 

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