Getting Started with CPS Drug Information

The Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS) is the Canadian standard for information on pharmaceuticals. CPS Drug Information includes monographs and patient information reports for prescription drugs, vaccines, natural health products and medical devices. CPS Drug Information also includes several tools, including the Lexi-Interact drug interaction checker and a pill identifier.

Search for a Drug Monograph or Patient Information

Drug Monograph

A drug monograph is a detailed scientific document on a drug that describes the properties, claims, indications and conditions of use of the drug and any other information that may be required for optimal, safe and effective use of that drug. For more information on drug monographs, have a look at Health Canada's Product (drug) monographs FAQ

To find a monograph on a specific prescription drug, click in the search box and type in the generic or brand name of the drug. Suggestions will appear to help with the correct spelling. 

Image of search for drug by name

In this example, the search is for levothyroxine sodium, which is the generic name for a drug commonly prescribed for hypothyroidism. When searching for the drug by generic name, two brand names for this medication appear - Synthroid and Eltroxin. The pharmaceutical manufacturer's name follows the brand name. 

Select the brand name to to view the monograph for that specific drug. Otherwise, search for the generic name to receive a list of monographs and patient information documents where the name appears. This will include drugs with known interactions. 

Patient Medication Information 

The Patient Information report is an information package written specifically for patients.

To access this report, search for the drug by brand name and then and select Patient Medication Information in the filter on the left side. This information package can be printed (use Print to PDF in printer settings, if available, to save a digital copy). 

Image of filter for patient information report

Lexi-Interact - Drug Interaction Information

Lexi-Interact is a tool for analyzing drug interactions. Listed under the Tools tab, use Lexi-Interact to find out if a medication interacts with an allergy or to view a list of medications that may interact with a specific drug.

To search for interaction with an allergy, type in both the name of the drug and the name of the allergy and click on the "Analyze" button. 

Image of search for drug and allergy interaction

For example, a search of the drug Amoxicillin and the allergy to penicillin will result in a report of a drug-allergy interaction. As Amoxicillin is a type of penicillin, this is to be expected. To read about this interaction, click on the link under Drug-Allergy Interactions. 

To create a list of interactions for a specific drug or ingredient, type in the name of a drug and then click on the name when it appears under the search box.  Image of search for interactions

In this example, a search for interactions with caffeine results in a list of medications for which a combination with caffeine should be avoided.  It also includes other medications that may require therapy modification or the need to be monitored when taking the drug combined with caffeine. 

Pill Identifier Tool 

Also available in the Tools tab is the pill identifier tool. In addition to displaying images of pill by brand name, this tool can be used to find the brand name of pill based on the imprint (text stamped into the pill), form, shape, colour and whether the pill is scored. 

Image of search using pill identifier tool

For example, a search for a blue tablet that is oblong in shape and is scored has identified the pill as 250 mg of Keppra, a brand name for levetiracetam. 

For more information on this medication, click on the Details link.  The details page includes a link to the product monograph which provides more information, including the clinical use of this medication. 

CPS Drug Information Resources

Further information is available through the Resources tab,  including:

  • Health Canada advisories
  • Health Canada reporting and request forms. 
  • Glossary of medical abbreviations
  • List of Poison Control Centres across the country
  • Health organizations directory
  • Directory of federal and provincial/territorial public drug benefit programs

Help with CPS Drug Information

  • For more information on any prescription medications and drug interactions, speak with a pharmacist or other medical professional
  • Contact the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) through the Feedback Form on their website
  • Visit your local branch or Contact Us