Essential Drugs. Practical Guidelines Intended for Physicians, Pharmacists, Nurses and Medical Auxiliaries. 2016 Edition (Arabic version)
(2016; 1 page) [English] [French] [Spanish]

The authors would be grateful for any comments or criticisms to ensure that this manual continues to evolve and remains adapted to the reality of the field.

Comments should be addressed to:

Médecins Sans Frontières - Guidelines

8, rue St-Sabin - 75011 Paris

Tel. : +33.{0)

Fax: +33.{0)

email :


This guide is not a dictionary of pharmacological agents. It is a practical manual intended for health professionals, physicians, pharmacists, nurses and health auxiliaries involved in curative care and drug management.

This manual is not only used by Médecins Sans Frontières, but also in a wide range of other programmes and contexts.

The list of drugs in this edition has been revised: in accordance to the most recent WHO list of essential medicines, certain drugs have been added, others have been removed.

Among the entries in this guide, some are not listed in the WHO list of essential medicines. However these drugs are in the same pharmaceutical class for which the WHO has named only one "example of a therapeutic group" preceded by a square symbol to indicate that various drugs can be used as alternatives.

Certain medicines, which are not on the WHO list, are still frequently administered although their use is not recommended. These medicines have been included in this guide by entries marked by a grey diagonal line.

The entries are classified according to the route of administration and in alphabetical order. This classification reflects the drug management system proposed in this manual (see Organization and management of a pharmacy).

Only the main contra-indications, adverse effects, precautions and drug interactions of each drug have been indicated in this manual. For further detailed information refer to specialised literature. Concerning antiretrovirals, the interactions are too many to be listed: it is therefore essential to refer to specialised literature.

This manual is a collective effort by medical professionals from many disciplines, all with field experience.

This manual is available on the internet at As treatment protocols are constantly changing, medical staff are encouraged to check this website for updates of this edition.

The WHO Essential Medicines and Health Products Information Portal was designed and is maintained by Human Info NGO. Last updated: October 29, 2018