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Drug_Exposure tables and RxNorm Codes

Hi OHDSI Community,

In some of our data registries, we have drug_concept_id’s that specify only a drug name mapped to an RxNorm code, but no dosage or route information. In some cases, the sig column contains more details such as “10mg” or “Oral”. We’re interested in parsing the sig and then using that information along with the drug_concept_id to pick a more specific RxNorm code so that we can put the more specific concept_id into the drug_concept_id column. Has anyone done this successfully? Any tips on how to do this well?

Colin Rogerson


You have two choices:

  • You treat your drug information like a proper drug vocabulary and use the mapping engine. It will pick the best (most detailed) concept_ids for you.
  • You record the ingredient, and the dose, and the route into the respective fields in drug_exposure table.

The former is more work, but gives you the better results. The latter will miss dose form and brand information and will split combination drugs into its components.