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  • 1.  Looking for inactive ingredients per drug

    Posted 04-19-2023 14:05


    I am hospital librarian and I have a patron is looking for an Oral Contraceptive which does not include the inactive ingredient Gelatin. Is anyone in this group aware of a database which lists excipients per drug? Or a database to search for drugs by common allergens? Or any other ideas? Since this is not my expertise, any suggestions would be helpful.
    Thank you

    Amy Nadell, MSLIS, MA, AHIP

    Amy Nadell
    Banner Health
    (602) 839-2384

  • 2.  RE: Looking for inactive ingredients per drug

    Posted 04-19-2023 15:51

    Seems this used to be easier to do, but I checked Facts and Comparisons, Lexicomp and PDR and they've all dumbed-down their search capabilities. 

    What you could try is DailyMed, at and click on Advanced Search.

    Click the drop-down on the right side 'Criteria', and then scroll to find Indications.   I am less than certain on this, so perhaps experiment.  I used the term 'contraception' in this field, and then click the orange box that says Add.

    Now go back to the criteria list, and select 'Inactive Ingredients' and then enter Gelatin.   You may want to try using the Refine box and choosing NOT IN in order to find drug labels that do not have gelatin in the inactive ingredients.  

    You may need to play around with synonyms.  For example, does CONTRACEPTIVE suffice?  Or, CONTRACEPTIVE OR CONTRACEPTION?   What about 'ORAL CONTRACEPTIVE' as an Indication term?   I  have not spent the time to see how DailyMed works with regard to plurals, term-mapping etc.  Therefore, consider this an idea, and not the final answer-  this search is only looking for a term in the Indications section.  Perhaps there is a better way to focus just on oral contraceptives?



  • 3.  RE: Looking for inactive ingredients per drug

    Posted 04-19-2023 15:56

    Thank you for great suggestions. The one that worked the best was the advanced search in Daily Med. It has numerous indexed fields for Ingredients.


    Thank you all



    Amy Nadell, MSLIS, MA, AHIP
    Banner University Medical Center Phoenix
    1111 E. McDowell Road

    Phoenix, AZ 85006
    602.839.2384 direct

    602.839.4353 main line
    928.707.7671 text


    Health care made easier. Life made better.




  • 4.  RE: Looking for inactive ingredients per drug

    Posted 04-19-2023 21:53

    Hi Amy!

    Yes I agree that DailyMed is an excellent resource! I use it all the time. Just a few additional tips to Mark's suggestions with DailyMed are:

    1Use the Unique Ingredient Identifier UNII code for gelatin (you'll see there's an option to search by code)
    1a.To find the UNII for gelatin, go to FDA Inactive Ingredient Search at Inactive Ingredient Search for Approved Drug Products

    2You can also search contraceptive* (yes asterisk is the wildcard marker in Daily Med) in the indications & usage section. Most of the contraceptives are classified as contraceptive/contraceptives in both the indications & usage section as well as the description.

    3. Place the boolean NOT in the same field with the UNII (like NOT ..... in inactive ingredient unii code)

    While DailyMed is your best bet but as we know, there's more than 1 way to skin a cat , lol. So if you want to explore, here's another alternative that is a bit more iterative.

    1. You'll still use the UNII code for gelatin so find it from FDA Inactive Ingredient dB
    2. Go to the FDALabel database (
    2a. direct link:
    3. Search contraceptive* in the Labeling section for indications & usage
    4. export results
    5. Refine the SAME search by searching it with the UNII code for the inactive ingredient gelatin in the Labeling, Product & Ingredient Identifiers
    6. export these results
    7. compare the 2 results to identify which contraceptives are NOT in 'set b'
    7b. unfortunately the FDALabel dB only supports AND & OR. Hence the iterative process. lol
    8. Anyway could be an interesting experiment to review .

    Definitely recommend the DailyMed as it is more efficient but exploring the FDALabel could be an interesting endeavor. Good luck!

    Hope that helps.

    Stay safe & Cheers,


    Christine (Chrissy) Geluk, M.S.L.I.S.
    Principal & Founder
    Librarian At Your Service LLC | | Twitter @cmgeluk | Instagram @cgeluk

  • 5.  RE: Looking for inactive ingredients per drug

    Posted 04-20-2023 10:29

    CAS Formulus®

    CAS Formulus is offered as a part of the CAS SciFinder Discovery Platform or as a stand-alone solution. This integrated workflow tool helps formulation scientists create products that are safe and effective.

    Sherri Voebel

    Northwestern State University