McGoogan News

Searching the literature for non-standard administration of a drug

By Cindy Schmidt

Need information about topical methotrexate (or other drugs administered by a non-standard route)? Try Embase!

The problem:

Searching for articles that mention non-standard administration of a drug can be tricky. PubMed, for instance, offers no method for linking the name of a drug to the route of that drug’s administration. A search for topical AND methotrexate yields several articles about topical steroid failure followed by oral methotrexate treatment, as well as a few relevant articles. A search for “topical methotrexate” fails to retrieve relevant articles in which the words are not adjacent or in the stated order. A search using the subject headings for topical administration and methotrexate is no more helpful.

Enter Embase!

Embase has subject headings (Emtree terms) for drugs with associated route subheadings and indexes drug terms more thoroughly than PubMed.

View this step-by-step guide to learn how to search in Embase.

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