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 oxygenEdit

Local anestheticsEdit

Preoperative medication and sedation for short-term proceduresEdit

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

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

Opioid analgesicsEdit

Medicines to treat goutEdit

Disease modifying agents used in rheumatoid disorders (DMARDs)Edit

Antiallergics and medicines used in anaphylaxisEdit

Antidotes and other substances used in poisoningsEdit




Anti-infective medicinesEdit


Intestinal anthelminthicsEdit


Antischistosomals and antitrematode medicineEdit


Beta Lactam medicinesEdit

Other antibacterialsEdit

Antileprosy medicinesEdit

Antituberculosis medicinesEdit

Antifungal medicinesEdit

Antiviral medicinesEdit

Antiherpes medicinesEdit


Nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitorsEdit
Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitorsEdit
Protease inhibitorsEdit
Combination drugsEdit
Other antiviralsEdit

Antiprotozoal medicinesEdit

Antiamoebic and antigiardiasis medicinesEdit

Antileishmaniasis medicinesEdit

Antimalarial medicinesEdit

For curative treatmentEdit
For prophylaxisEdit

Antipneumocytosis and antioxoplasmosis medicinesEdit

Antitrypanosomal medicinesEdit

African trypanosomiasisEdit

American trypanosomiasisEdit

Antimigraine medicinesEdit

For treatment of acute attackEdit

For prophylaxisEdit

Antineoplastic, immunosuppressives and medicines used in palliative careEdit

Immunosuppressive medicinesEdit

Cytotoxic medicinesEdit

Hormones and antihormonesEdit

Medicines used in palliative careEdit


Antiparkinsonism medicinesEdit

Medicines affecting the bloodEdit

Antianaemia medicinesEdit

Medicines affecting coagulationEdit

Blood products and plasma substitutesEdit

Plasma substitutesEdit

Plasma fractions for specific useEdit

Cardiovascular medicinesEdit

Antianginal medicinesEdit

Antiarrhythmic medicinesEdit

Antihypertensive medicinesEdit

Medicines used in heart failureEdit

Antithrombotic medicinesEdit

Lipid-lowering agentsEdit

Dermatological medicines (topical)Edit

Antifungal medicinesEdit

Anti-infective medicinesEdit

Anti-inflammatory and antipruritic medicinesEdit

Astringent medicinesEdit

Medicines affecting skin differentiation and proliferationEdit

Scabicides and pediculicidesEdit

Diagnostic agentsEdit

Ophthalmic medicinesEdit

Radiocontrast mediaEdit

Disinfectants and antisepticsEdit




Gastrointestinal medicinesEdit

Antacids and other antiulcer medicinesEdit

Antiemetic medicinesEdit

Anti-inflammatory medicinesEdit


Medicines used in diarrheaEdit

Oral rehydrationEdit

Medicines for diarrhea in childrenEdit

Antidiarrheal (symptomatic) medicines in adultsEdit

Hormones, other endocrine medicines and contraceptivesEdit

Adrenal hormones and synthetic substitutesEdit

See section 3 Antiallergics and medicines used in anaphylaxis.



Oral hormonal contraceptivesEdit

Injectable hormonal contraceptivesEdit

Intrauterine devicesEdit

Barrier methodsEdit

Implantable contraceptivesEdit


Insulins and other antidiabetic agentsEdit

Ovulation inducersEdit


Thyroid hormones and antithyroid medicinesEdit


Diagnostic agentsEdit

Sera and immunoglobulinsEdit

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


Muscle relaxants (peripherally-acting) and cholinesterase inhibitorsEdit

Ophthalmological preparationsEdit

Anti-infective agentsEdit

Anti-inflammatory agentsEdit

Local anestheticsEdit

Miotics and antiglaucoma medicinesEdit


Oxytocics and antioxytocicsEdit



Peritoneal dialysis solutionEdit

Psychotherapeutic medicinesEdit

Medicines used in psychotic disordersEdit

Medicines used in mood disordersEdit

Medicines used in depressive disordersEdit

Medicines used in bipolar disordersEdit

Medicines used in generalized anxiety and sleep disordersEdit

Medicines used for obsessive compulsive disorders and panic attacksEdit

Medicines used in substance dependence programsEdit

Medicines acting on the respiratory tractEdit

Antiasthmatic and medicines for chronic obstructive pulmonary diseaseEdit

Other medicines acting on the respiratory tractEdit

Solutions correcting water, electrolyte and acid-base disturbancesEdit




Vitamins and mineralsEdit


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

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