About the openFDA API

OpenFDA is an Elasticsearch-based API that serves public FDA data about nouns like drugs, devices, and foods.

Each of these nouns has one or more categories, which serve unique data-such as data about recall enforcement reports, or about adverse events. Every query to the API must go through one endpoint for one kind of data.

Not all data in openFDA has been validated for clinical or production use. And because openFDA only serves publicly available data, it does not contain data with Personally Identifiable Information about patients or other sensitive information.

The API returns individual results as JSON by default. The JSON object has two sections:

  • meta: Metadata about the query, including a disclaimer, link to data license, last-updated date, and total matching records, if applicable.

  • results: An array of matching results, dependent on which endpoint was queried.