Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the #1 medical reference app. Read our answers to frequently asked questions about epocrates.

You might be wondering

Where does epocrates content come from?

The Medical Information team develops, distills, and compiles epocrates proprietary content. Other content that is licensed from external sources includes: 

  • Pricing: Drug retail pricing data is sourced from GoodRx
  • Pill Pictures: Pill pictures are licensed from FDB (First Databank)
  • Formulary: Health plan formulary content, including information about prior authorizations, step-therapy requirements, and other restrictions, is provided by Managed Markets Insight & Technology (MMIT)
  • Herbs & Supplements: Content is developed by epocrates based on information licensed from Natural Medicines Therapeutic Research Center, Inc.
  • Diseases: We work with BMJ Group, publishers of the British Medical Journal, to produce a disease reference that is integrated with other epocrates reference content
  • Calculators/Tools: We work with EBMcalc to provide interactive, point-of-care medical equations, clinical criteria sets, and decision trees, in a wide range of medical specialties
  • Clinical Practice Guidelines: epocrates synthesizes clinical practice guidelines from top medical societies and government agencies to provide clinicians with actionable recommendations organized by patient type


How often is the information in epocrates updated?

The epocrates clinical team updates drug information up to twice weekly.

When does epocrates add new drug products?

Full topics on new drug products are added to epocrates around the time the drug becomes available to prescribe in the U.S. Additionally, abbreviated content for some drugs may be added when a pending FDA review date is assigned or once they are approved but still pending market availability.

What if a drug I’m looking for is not in epocrates?

Simply send an e-mail to with your request to add a specific drug.

Why are there separate drug topics for brand names and generic names? How do these drug topics differ?

epocrates provides drug topics based on product-specific information, such as available formulations, dosing, indications, manufacturer, and pricing. For example, epocrates includes a unique drug topic for a brand-name product, as well as a separate drug topic for the generic drug, if available. The generic drug topic covers only the strengths and forms available on the U.S. market as generic products. The brand-name drug topics are specific to each available brand product.

Where can I find the indications/uses for a drug in epocrates?

FDA-approved indications and off-label uses for prescription (Rx) drugs can be found under the Adult Dosing and Peds Dosing sections in epocrates drug topics. Each bold header is an indication or use for the product, followed by appropriate dosing.

How do I access and use the weight-based dosing calculator?

From your mobile device home screen, select the Reference section, then Calculators, then select “Dosing Calculator”. On web, search for “Dosing Calculator”. It can also be launched from the Dosing section of any drug topic that contains weight-based dosing, using the “Calculate Dose” link. Note that this is a general weight-based dosing calculator that is not specific to any given drug. Depending on the drug, the dosage may be expressed as a single dose (e.g., mcg/kg/dose, mg/kg/dose, etc.) or as a portion of a total daily dose (e.g., mg/kg/day divided into individual doses to be given at the appropriate frequency). You must select the appropriate units for the drug in this calculator. Doses can be calculated for Tablet/Capsule, Liquid, or Injection/Other forms.
Calculating Dose When Dosage is Expressed as Single Dose (“/dose”)
If the dosage is expressed in single doses (e.g., 2.2 mg/kg/dose PO q12h”), calculate the amount that will be given at each individual dose by entering the Dosage (in amt/kg/dose) and the patient’s weight. You do not need to input a frequency when calculating a single dose. The single dose calculated is to be given at the frequency specified in the drug’s dosing.
Calculating Dose When Dosage is Expressed as a Portion of a Total Daily Dose (“/day”)
If the dosage is expressed as a portion of a total daily dose (e.g., “25-45 mg/kg/day PO divided q12h”), calculate the amount that will be given at each individual dose by entering the total daily Dosage (in amt/kg/day), the patient’s weight, and entering the dosing frequency (i.e., the interval between doses, which will dictate the equal portions into which the total daily dose will be divided). The calculated result will be displayed in terms of total daily dose (amt per day) and individual dose amount (amt per dose, to be given at the frequency that you entered).
Calculating Liquid Doses
If you wish the final dose to also be expressed in terms of volume of a liquid form, proceed as above and select “Liquid” as the Form. You will be prompted to input the concentration of the desired liquid form, in amt per mL. For instance, if the drug comes as a 250 mg/5 mL suspension, enter 250 mg on the first line and 5 mL on the second.

What is the source of the content in the Black Box Warnings section of epocrates?

The epocrates Black Box Warnings section includes content adapted from boxed warnings appearing in the US prescribing information. epocrates may add content to this section before it is published in the US prescribing information if the FDA has released proposed language for a new boxed warning.

What is included in the Contraindications/Cautions section of a drug topic?

The Contraindications/Cautions section includes diseases, conditions, and other circumstances in which the drug should not generally be used or should be used with caution, regardless of the section in which it might appear in the prescribing information.

Where can I find drug allergy information in epocrates?

The contraindication “hypersensitivity to drug or ingredient” is meant to globally convey that hypersensitivity to the drug, drug class, or the inactive ingredients is a contraindication for use. epocrates drug topics also include some specific clinically relevant allergens and cross-allergen risks in the Contraindications/Cautions section.

How is the Adverse Reactions section of epocrates drug topics organized?

epocrates includes all adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and lab abnormalities reported in at least 2% of patients at any recommended dose for any indication that occur more frequently in the treatment group than the placebo group. This may vary for products in which such information isn’t available; if data is reported differently (e.g., listed as >1% or >5% in the product labeling); or if not reported versus an active control. Common Reactions also include any ADR referred to as “frequent,” “common,” or “most common” in the product labeling or primary literature.


If an ADR doesn’t meet our inclusion criteria as a serious or common ADR, but that ADR is nonetheless serious, severe, frequent, and/or is strongly associated with the use of the drug, it will be included at the end of the Common Reactions.


Common Reactions for prescription drugs are usually listed in descending order of frequency. We may synthesize data from multiple sources and for multiple indications to arrive at an order that may differ from what appears in the drug's prescribing information.


For combination over-the-counter (OTC) products, Common Reactions are listed alphabetically.


Serious Reactions are included regardless of incidence. These effects are typically grouped by organ system or severity, but may sometimes be listed in other ways, such as alphabetically. The decision to include an effect as a Serious Reaction is based on its potential to cause death, result in significant morbidity or dependence/abuse, or require major medical intervention.

Does epocrates include incidence rates for adverse drug reactions (ADRs)?

Because data on the incidence of ADRs can be variable, inconsistent, and potentially misleading, we’ve chosen to list common adverse reactions in approximate descending order of frequency, without frequencies.

How do I check for interactions among multiple drugs, herbs, and supplements?

Click on the Interaction Check icon or menu item and follow instructions to add two or more drugs, herbs, or supplements. You can also access Interaction check while viewing a specific drug, by selecting “Run Interaction Check” or “Add to Interaction Check”. Once all items are added, follow instructions to view interaction details.

How do I add or change formulary plans?


Use the Formulary pull-down menu at the top of the Drugs tab or atop an individual drug to change formulary plans or add a new formulary plan.


iOS and Android Devices

To add new plans, use the “Add New Formulary” button, which can be found in 3 locations in the app:

(1) Formularies Tool: Go to the Reference page from the epocrates home screen, select “Formularies” (umbrella icon), and then tap the “Add New Formulary” button at the bottom of the screen.  

(2) Formulary Bar: When performing a search or browsing drugs by subclass, you can tap the Formulary bar at the bottom of the screen, and then “Add New Formulary” button at the bottom of the screen.  

(3) Drug Topic: When viewing the sections of a drug topic, tap the Formulary section to view the Formulary details for this drug and the selected plan. Next, tap the “Add New Formulary” button at the bottom of the screen.


Find the desired plan(s) using the search bar and/or filters for state and formulary type. Tap each plan name you need, then tap “Add Formulary” at the bottom of the screen. The new plan(s) will then be included in your Recent Formularies list.


To change a formulary, access the Recent Formularies list through the Formularies tool or the Formulary bar, then tap on the desired plan. In the Formulary section of a drug topic, your recently viewed formulary plans appear below the coverage details under the heading “Other Formularies.” Tap on the desired plan. The name of the newly selected plan will appear at the top of the Formulary section. Currently there is not a way to delete a formulary. The list is your 30 most recently viewed ones. When you have 30 added and you add number 31, the oldest one will be removed from the list.

What does epocrates do when brand name drug products are removed from the market?

We typically make the following note in the Dosing sections of the epocrates drug topic:

Brand Discontinued in US [see generic]


Brand Discontinued in US [select or search generic name for alternatives]

When viewing a brand-name drug topic for which a generic and/or other brand products are available, simply click/tap on the generic name at the top of the topic to quickly navigate to these alternatives.

Does epocrates have intravenous (IV) administration information?

Not at this time.

How can pharmaceutical manufacturers make clinical requests?

The epocrates Medical Information Team requests that all such inquiries:

  • are sent directly to
  • are addressed directly from a clinical representative within the pharmaceutical manufacturer’s medical information department or equivalent business unit, and 
  • include the product name, name and contact information of clinical representative, current FDA-approved product labeling (prescribing information), supportive scientific literature, and the following additional information at a minimum: 

New Monograph Requests

  • date of FDA approval
  • date of product launch to the market 

Product Labeling Updates

  • description of all changes made from previous product labeling

Content Correction Requests

  • description of specific issues and clinical rationale for each

Do you have more questions for the epocrates team?

Last updated: 12/20/2023