What’s this pill for again?

The side effects of prescription drugs and their interaction with other drugs and foods are a serious concern to many people. Pharmacies are making a strong effort to inform consumers about just what they’re taking and how it affects their bodies, but many people want to know more.

An American website may have the information you’re seeking. RxList is an indexed database of more than 4,000 drug products, most of which are prescribed in Canada. The site also has a list of the Top 200 Prescriptions, with hypertext links to generic prescribing information.

You can also perform keyword searches of the nearly 300 RxList monographs simultaneously for potential drug interactions, side effects and indications. If you have a bottle of pills you’re not sure about, RxList ID allows you to identify them by searching for their ID Imprint Codes. The site, which also has links to hundreds of other pharmacy-related sites, is run by Neil Sandow, a hospital pharmacy director in San Francisco.