Searching the eMC website to exclude excipients

Last updated: February 07, 2020

You can find out if there is a medicine that does not contain a named excipient by selecting the Advanced search function on the eMC website:

As an example, let's say you are trying to find a brand of ibuprofen that does not contain  lactose.

Look at the Search options on the left-hand side. Click on search By SmPC section. Then when asked to select a section, choose "2 Qualitative and quantitive composition". This section identifies the main active ingredients in a medicine.

Type ibuprofen into the Your search query box, then click the grey Add button.

Repeat the above steps but this time:

  • Choose "6.1. List of excipients" from the drop-down select a section box.
  • Change Contains/Does not contain to "Does Not Contain".
  • Type lactose into Your search query.
  • Click the grey Add button.
  • Finally, click the blue Search button at the bottom of the page

So you have asked eMC to look for medicines containing ibuprofen as an active ingredient, but not containing lactose as an excipient. You'll get a list of options to consider:

You can repeat this search process in other ways. For example, you might want to search by indication using "4.1 Therapeutic indication" to find a medicine to treat anxiety that does not contain a specific excipient.