Normalizing Dietary Supplement Product Names Using the RxNorm Model

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2019 Aug 21;264:408-412. doi: 10.3233/SHTI190253.


The use of dietary supplements (DSs) is increasing in the U.S. As such, it is crucial for consumers, clinicians, and researchers to be able to find information about DS products. However, labeling regulations allow great variability in DS product names, which makes searching for this information difficult. Following the RxNorm drug name normalization model, we developed a rule-based natural language processing system to normalize DS product names using pattern templates. We evaluated the system on product names extracted from the Dietary Supplement Label Database. Our system generated 136 unique templates and obtained a coverage of 72%, a 32% increase over the existing RxNorm model. Manual review showed that our system achieved a normalization accuracy of 0.86. We found that the normalization of DS product names is feasible, but more work is required to improve the generalizability of the system.

Keywords: Dietary supplements; Natural Language Processing; RxNorm.

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Factual
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Natural Language Processing
  • RxNorm*