Authoring guide

eDrug highlights some of the most important drugs in common use, usually picking just one representative where a drug class has multiple members. A single monograph for each agent needs to provide information for all contexts in which it is used.

The aim is to provide useful educational info for students and practising doctors. It isn’t comprehensive, and it certainly is not intended to be the primary source for prescribing.  See Cautions.

It is an open-access resource that should be relevant around the world.

Template for Drug pages

First box

  • Key indications
  • Mechanism of action
  • Links to resources for learning about it in more detail
    • We are working on approaches to this; many current links are out of date, and many newer resources have appeared.
    • Favour open resources – our own, or external.
    • Allow one locked link per drug (Edinburgh or other login required to read).

Then in a series of other boxes (these don’t have an html editor at present, so there is a concise html guide below)

  • Effects – therapeutic, or inescapable side-effects that are a consequence of drug’s intended action.
  • Adverse actions – predictable or idiosyncratic; but listing only common or particularly important issues
  • Dose – all these headings are for essential details only, not comprehensive; cross-link where more is desirable
  • Interactions –
  • Contraindications –
  • Comments – various; if appropriate mention important other members of the same drug class here
  • Contributors – (coming; for now, please add your name to the foot of comments)

Principles of writing

  • Concise; refer to detail elsewhere. Don’t repeat detail of remote resources.
  • Avoid time-sensitive information that will quickly become out of date
  • Break into short paragraphs. Keep sentences short.
  • Review repeatedly for easy reading.
  • Check links are valid. Should you be referencing other monographs, while not over-complicating?
  • For details of dosing, and other matters, links to the electronic Medicines Compendium (EMC) at are the default, as it’s open to all, no login required. This is the preferred resource therefore, rather than the BNF or other login-required resources.
  • Link directly to the relevant info about the drug, not to the EMC home page. Even better in many circumstances, to the anchor on the page, e.g. to posology of furosemide.
  • Use emphasis (bold, italic; preferably not underline) sparingly and consistently – tbc.

Invaluable sources

Excellent sources to point to more info are proving to be

Note that these are all open to the world, and that the BNF is excluded because it isn’t.

One monograph per drug

The primary ordering is by condition. Where drugs are used in more than one condition or system, the same monograph is linked beneath each, so that (for example) Bisoprolol might appear under heart failure, arrhythmia, and hypertension. The single monograph needs to provide relevant information for each context.

Drug classes – tags

We’re using the following tags for drug classes. They are edited from the BNF list. The tags appear at the foot of the entry. By clicking on them, you bring up other drugs with the same tag. Please add to this list as you create – we may need to make a new page for it as they increase in number:

  • Anticoagulants
  • Antiplatelet agents
  • Diuretics

Editing WordPress

There is help under the W at the far left of the top WordPress menu bar when you’re logged in – click on Documentation in the dropdown.  Much on the web also to support this.

  • Pasting from Word – use the ‘paste as text’ option in the second line of the html editor bar, otherwise all sorts of horrible formatting often comes across too.
  • Linking to another page – when you click on the link icon in the editor bar, see the ‘Link to existing content’ option lower down in the box that comes up. Select a page or search for one. This is better than pasting in the url.
  • Some sections of the drug templates require entry of html – see below.

A short guide to using html

You can use html tags to add links or highlight important information in the boxes without a WYSIWIG html editor (on Drug pages that’s all except the top one at present). Triangular brackets <like this> are the thing. When you open them, you must close them: <open>stuff in the middle</open>

  • If there are just a couple of lines in the box you might not need any html at all.
  • Use <p>Sentences, sentences</p> to make a paragraph.
  • Use <b>your bolded text</b> to show: Use your bolded text to show …
  • Use <i>italicised text</i> to show: Use italicised text to show …
  • Don’t use <u>underlined</u> to underline: it looks horrible, you never see it in books, users associate it with links – and it has been struck out from the latest versions of html, so in the future it may not work.
  • Links: The form is <a href=””>text you want to link from</a> to make a link. For example you want to write: It turned out that monkey glands were a great treatment for nothing. The html for this would be: It turned out that<a href=””>monkey glands</a> were a great treatment for nothing.</p>  Note: you must include http:// with your url.  More advanced linking:
    • Link to another drug/page in eDrug – use the url that you see when you land on the page as a user, NOT the url you see while editing it.
    • Link to an anchor: takes you to an ‘anchor’ part way down the EMC page for furosemide. Here it is in action (opening in a new tab). Copy that link by right-clicking on the menu instead of the url in the browser top bar.
    • Open link in a new tab: adding target=”_blank” inside the <a></a> tags opens the link in a new tab/window. This is a good thing to do with external links, but annoying for internal links. Example for that link: <a href=”” target =”_blank”>new tab</a>/window
  • Tables, bullets and more – these are not impossibly complicated, but tables in particular can be time-consuming. Discuss.

I really love this html stuff, give me more. There are many tutorials and ref sources to html coding on the web, but typing in a simple ‘how to make italics in html’ or ‘how to make a table in html’ to Google will often sort it immediately for you.

Adding a new drug

With agreement of the editorial team – Go to Drugs – Add drug. On the right hand menu,

  • Indicate which systems/ conditions it should appear under. There must be at least one, and it can appear under more than one – but be thoughtful about that.
  • Choose whether to tag it with a drug class (see list above. Stick to that terminology!)
  • Update button When you’ve finished, and from time to time while editing, don’t forget to click Update on the right hand menu.  It will be published immediately.
  • Note that it is possible to put Visibility of a new page to Private; and the Published status to Draft or Pending Review.  It’s often better just to publish it and ask people to look at it. Put a note at the top that it’s not final/ editing in progress.  Then you don’t have to sort logins for your reviewers.

Adding other pages

Don’t do this without editorial discussion. If you do, adding them to the top menu requires a manual step.