Drug compendia are compilations of information on drugs in the form of monographs; without going into the theoretical concepts, mechanisms of action, and other aspects which help in understanding the subject. Pharmacopeias and formularies are brought out by the government of a country, hold legal status, and are called official compendia. In addition, some non-official compendia are published by professional bodies, which are supplementary and dependable sources of information about drugs.
A pharmacopeia is a description of the chemical structure, molecular weight, physical and chemical characteristics, solubility, identification and assay methods, standards of purity, storage conditions, and dosage forms of officially approved drugs in a country. They are useful to drug manufacturers and regulatory authorities, but not to doctors, most of whom never see them. Examples are Indian (IP), British (BP), European (Eur P), United States (USP) pharmacopeias.
Indications, dose, dosage forms, contraindications, warnings, side effects, and storage of chosen medicines available for medicinal use in a nation are usually listed in easy-to-carry booklet form. The therapeutic class of a drug is used to classify it. There are several sensible fixed-dose medication combinations listed. Individual medication details are usually preceded by a brief discussion of the pharmacological class and the clinical conditions under which it is utilized. There are brief treatment guidelines for a few conditions. The National Formulary of India (NFI) does not include brand names with prices, but the British National Formulary (BNF) does. Most formularies have informative appendices as well. Formularies can be considerably helpful to prescribers.
The Complete Drug Reference (Extrapharmacopoeia)
This non-official compendium is an extensive and updated compilation of unbiased information about medications used/registered all over the globe, published every 2–3 years by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. It incorporates new product introductions and provides pharmaceutical, pharmacological, and therapeutic information on medicines, making it a useful reference book.
Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) and Drug: Facts and Comparisons (both from USA), etc. are other useful non-official compendia.