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The List of World Health Organization Essential Medicines is a model list of essential medicines created by the World Health Organization. This list is based on the 15th edition (March 2007).[1]

The list was first published in 1977.[2] The 16th edition for adults and the second edition for children were released in March 2009.[3][4]

A indicates the medicine is a complementary item.



General anesthetics and oxygen

Local anesthetics

Preoperative medication and sedation for short-term procedures

Analgesics, antipyretics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, medicines used to treat gout and disease modifying agents in rheumatoid disorders

Non-opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIMs)

Opioid analgesics

Medicines to treat gout

Disease modifying agents used in rheumatoid disorders (DMARDs)

Antiallergics and medicines used in anaphylaxis

Antidotes and other substances used in poisonings




Anti-infective medicines


Intestinal anthelminthics


Antischistosomals and antitrematode medicine


Beta Lactam medicines

Other antibacterials

Antileprosy medicines

Antituberculosis medicines

Antifungal medicines

Antiviral medicines

Antiherpes medicines


Nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors
Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
Protease inhibitors
Combination drugs
Other antivirals

Antiprotozoal medicines

Antiamoebic and antigiardiasis medicines

Antileishmaniasis medicines

Antimalarial medicines

For curative treatment
For prophylaxis

Antipneumocytosis and antioxoplasmosis medicines

Antitrypanosomal medicines

African trypanosomiasis

American trypanosomiasis

Antimigraine medicines

For treatment of acute attack

For prophylaxis

Antineoplastic, immunosuppressives and medicines used in palliative care

Immunosuppressive medicines

Cytotoxic medicines

Hormones and antihormones

Medicines used in palliative care


Antiparkinsonism medicines

Medicines affecting the blood

Antianaemia medicines

Medicines affecting coagulation

Blood products and plasma substitutes

Plasma substitutes

Plasma fractions for specific use

Cardiovascular medicines

Antianginal medicines

Antiarrhythmic medicines

Antihypertensive medicines

Medicines used in heart failure

Antithrombotic medicines

Lipid-lowering agents

Dermatological medicines (topical)

Antifungal medicines

Anti-infective medicines

Anti-inflammatory and antipruritic medicines

Astringent medicines

Medicines affecting skin differentiation and proliferation

Scabicides and pediculicides

Diagnostic agents

Ophthalmic medicines

Radiocontrast media

Disinfectants and antiseptics




Gastrointestinal medicines

Antacids and other antiulcer medicines

Antiemetic medicines

Anti-inflammatory medicines


Medicines used in diarrhea

Oral rehydration

Medicines for diarrhea in children

Antidiarrheal (symptomatic) medicines in adults

Hormones, other endocrine medicines and contraceptives

Adrenal hormones and synthetic substitutes

See section 3 Antiallergics and medicines used in anaphylaxis.



Oral hormonal contraceptives

Injectable hormonal contraceptives

Intrauterine devices

Barrier methods

Implantable contraceptives


Insulins and other antidiabetic agents

Ovulation inducers


Thyroid hormones and antithyroid medicines


Diagnostic agents

Sera and immunoglobulins

  • Anti-D immunoglobulin
  • Antitetanus immunoglobulin
  • Antivenom immunoglobulin
  • Diphtheria antitoxin
  • Rabies immunoglobulin


Muscle relaxants (peripherally-acting) and cholinesterase inhibitors

Ophthalmological preparations

Anti-infective agents

Anti-inflammatory agents

Local anesthetics

Miotics and antiglaucoma medicines


Oxytocics and antioxytocics



Peritoneal dialysis solution

Psychotherapeutic medicines

Medicines used in psychotic disorders

Medicines used in mood disorders

Medicines used in depressive disorders

Medicines used in bipolar disorders

Medicines used in generalized anxiety and sleep disorders

Medicines used for obsessive compulsive disorders and panic attacks

Medicines used in substance dependence programs

Medicines acting on the respiratory tract

Antiasthmatic and medicines for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Other medicines acting on the respiratory tract

Solutions correcting water, electrolyte and acid-base disturbances




Vitamins and minerals


  1. ^ "WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, 15th edition (March 2007)" (PDF). World Health Organization. March 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-01.  
  2. ^ WHO Model Lists of Essential Medicines
  3. ^ [ "WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, 16th edition (March 2009)"] (PDF). World Health Organization. March 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-11.  
  4. ^ [ "WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children, second edition (March 2009)"] (PDF). World Health Organization. March 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-11.  

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