Mobile Apps & Resources: Bugs & Drugs

To keep you updated on the go, our ‘app of the month’ highlights one free informational app every month!

Librarian reviewers consider the audience and purpose of the apps, as well as highlighting additional features:
  • In the ‘Evidence’ section, we assess how easily an app user can identify the app’s currency and support from the evidence
  • In the ‘Usability’ section, we assess the organization of information and other usability factors that may contribute to user experience

Our complete grading criteria for evidence and usability are embedded in the review.

Please note that the reviewers are not healthcare professionals, and so cannot appraise the quality of any recommendations within the app. The reviews are not endorsements.

View the AHS policy on Mobile Wireless Devices and Services.


Bugs & Drugs


Bugs & Drugs


Marcus Vaska & Pamela Harrison

Version reviewed


Device & OS used

iPad iOS 10.3.3 (MV) / iPhone SE iOS 11.0.2 (PH)

Date of review

September 29, 2017 (MV) / October 17, 2017 (PH)

AHS staff can email bugs& for a free redemption code to download the app at no charge. Please use your institutional email address when requesting. 




Image Source: Bugs & Drugs, Apple App Store. ​Retrieved on October 17, 2017 from

App developer

Alberta Health Services
Authors/Editors: Dr. Edith Blondell-Hill and Susan Fryters  



Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod touch iOS 9.1+; Android 2.3.3+; last updated May 11, 2017
Note: Not compatible with Blackberry.

Country of origin



43.1 MB


No specific specialty or discipline listed  


Applicable to physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and other health care practitioners working with patients with infectious diseases


Stated Purpose

“Bugs & Drugs is a comprehensive, evidence-based reference" (source: App store listing); [the app] "provides general recommendations for appropriate antibiotic use and care of patients with infectious diseases" (source: Bugs & Drugs website > About > General Information





Part 1: Editorial committee, content updates, and evidence grading

Author and editor names and affiliations are provided, and are reputable. Entries are not dated. The app does not use an evidence grading system; the Bugs & Drugs website states that “recommendations made in Bugs & Drugs are based on our experience in infectious diseases, microbiology, and pharmacotherapy.” (Source: Bugs & Drugs website > Preface)   

Part 2: Source and authorship information for 3 entries

Citation list not provided directly in entry – must be accessed via app home page > References, which links out to a PDF list of references on the Bugs & Drugs website. Within that PDF, users can scroll down to entries of interest, to find citations used.  

No entry-specific authorship, contact, or affiliation information provided.

Note: "UPDATES to the content will be provided at no additional charge UNTIL DECEMBER 31, 2017 after which time a new subscription based app will be required to obtain the latest updates. This version of the app will continue to function after DECEMBER 31, 2017 but will not receive content updates" (source: App store listing).

Organization of information

App content is organized under 6 main headings:

  • Antibiotics
  • Treatment recommendations
  • Prophylaxis recommendations
  • Dental
  • Pregnancy / Lactation and
  • Organisms







Information is menu-driven, with several subsections, and is clearly organized.  The search feature allows one to easily locate a desired topic, either by entering a term or browsing an A-Z.  Text entries are supplemented with pop-outs, tables and other supporting documents.

Limited customization is available: users can make notes and add bookmarks. 

Under the information (i) icon in the upper left corner, users can access app tutorials via the Bugs & Drugs website. Tutorials are specific to the mobile device and operating system being used with the app.

Internet connection required for use: No; Text search field: Yes; Browsable content: Yes; Advertisements: No; Pop-up advertisements: No; In-app purchases: No





App includes calculator for: Ideal Body Weight, Creatinine Clearance, Normalized Creatinine Clearance, Vancomycin Steady State ​