Compare drugs

The ‘Compare drugs’ function allows you to compare up to four drug profiles in both graphical and tabular format.

There are two ways in which to arrive at a drug-comparison result on the database:

1) Compare drugs chosen from a search-result list

i) To find a list of drugs, perform searches that start at the home page. E.g., a search for a certain drug class or company, or a listing of all drugs or all herbals...

ii) The list of drugs will have little boxes to the right of the drug names. Select the drugs by clicking within this box to place a tick against the drug-name.

iii) As you make these selections, the drugs you have chosen will appear in a new panel to the right of the page, under a Compare Drugs heading.

iv) A maximum of four drugs can be selected for comparison.

v) If you wish to remove or replace a drug, select the X next to this drug under the remove header.

vi) When you have chosen up to four drugs to compare, select ‘Compare Drugs’.  This takes you to a page with the graphical and tabular comparison of the drugs you selected.

2) Compare drugs from a drug-profile page

i) At the top of all drug-profile pages is a small search box carrying the option to compare the drug currently being viewed with any other drug on the database.

ii) Start typing in the name of the drug you want to compare against in the ‘compare this drug to…’ search box.

iii) As you type, a drop-down menu will appear to help make your selection. Choose the drug name and hit ‘Go’.
This takes you to a page with the graphical and tabular comparison of the two drugs.

Note - it is possible to add a further two drugs to compare using the ‘Add drug’ box under the first drugs table. A maximum of four drugs can be selected for comparison.

Understanding the results

The results from either of the above steps will be displayed on a new page that carries a graph and table. The results provide a comparison of the number and types of adverse reactions associated with each of the drugs selected.  Should you wish to alter your search, you are able to remove or add drugs on this page at any time.

Looking at the Graph

The graph provides a visual comparison of the drugs selected, each represented in a different colour according to the key below it.


  • Scrolling your mouse over the graph and key highlights exact values of adverse reactions across each reaction category, which corresponds with the data in the table below.
  • You can untick a drug in the key to remove it from the graph.
  • You can focus in on the graph by highlighting a fewer number of reaction categories.

Looking at the Table

The table provides a more detailed comparison of the drugs you have selected, sub-divided by each reaction category; and with a full list of adverse reactions under each heading. Adverse reactions that are common to each of the compared drugs are highlighed.


  • Narrow your comparison by removing drugs using the ‘X’ next to each drug name. Alternatively, you can expand your comparison by adding further drugs (maximum of four) in the box provided.
  • Click on a drug name to view its full profile. You can return to the comparison results page by selecting the ‘back’ button on your browser.
  • Click on individual adverse reactions to view a summary and the list of drugs associated with that reaction. 

Can I save searches?

Yes. There is a link to ‘save this search’ in the top right corner of the compare drugs results page. Saved searches are accessible on the home page after you login. This means you do not have to repeat your search processes for a comparison of drugs that you repeatedly need to view.