Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Recent additions to the NLM Drug Information Portal include clinical experience with drugs and dietary supplements

 

 

NLMDrug

 

 

 

 

From the NLM-TOX-ENVIRO-HEALTH-L Digest – 2 Oct 2014 to 7 Oct 2014 (#2014-19)

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Drug Information Portal (http://druginfo.nlm.nih.gov) is a free web resource that provides an informative, user–friendly gateway to current drug information for over 53,000 substances. The Portal links to sources from the NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies such as the U.S. FDA.

Current information regarding consumer health, clinical trials, AIDS–related drug information, MeSH® pharmacological actions, PubMed® biomedical literature, and physical properties and structure is easily retrieved by searching a drug name. A varied selection of focused topics in medicine and drug–related information is also available from displayed subject headings.

The Drug Portal retrieves by the generic or trade name of a drug or its category of usage.  Records provide a description of how the drug is used, its chemical structure and nomenclature, and include up to 20 Resource Locators which link to more information in other selected resources.   Recent additions to these Locators include clinical experience with drugs in PubMed Health (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth), substances reviewed in NLM LiverTox (http://livertox.nih.gov/), information from the Dietary Supplement Label Database (http://dsld.nlm.nih.gov/dsld/), and drug images in the Pillbox beta (http://pillbox.nlm.nih.gov/) database.

Data in the Drug Information Portal is updated daily, and is also available on mobile devices.

More information can be found at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/druginfoportalfs.html

October 11, 2014 Posted by | Consumer Health, Educational Resources (Health Professionals), Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Health Education (General Public) | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

National Library of Medicine (NLM) Drug Information Portal is now available for mobile devices

Now one can get summary and detailed drug information on the go from reputable resources

From a recent email rec’d from the US National Library of Medicine

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Drug Information Portal is now available for mobile devices.http://druginfo.nlm.nih.gov/m.drugportal

This mobile optimized web site covers over 32,000 drugs and provides descriptions, drug names, pharmaceutical categories, and structural diagrams.  Each record also features information links to 19 other resources including NLM PubMed, NLM LactMed, and Drugs@FDA.  The mobile version of a resource is used when available.

Smart Phones accessing the main Drug Portal site will be taken the mobile site.

The Drug Information Portal (http://druginfo.nlm.nih.gov)  is a free Web resource from the NLM that provides an informative, user friendly entry-way to current drug information for over 32,000 drugs. Links to sources span the breadth of the NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies. Current information regarding consumer health, clinical trials, AIDS–related drug information, MeSH pharmacological actions, PubMed biomedical literature, and physical properties and structure is easily retrieved by searching on a drug name. A varied selection of focused topics in medicine and drug–related information is also available from displayed subject headings.

For a full list of available apps and mobile websites, visit our NLM Gallery of Mobile Apps and Sites at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mobile/

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Educational Resources (Health Professionals), Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Health Education (General Public), Professional Health Care Resources | , , | 1 Comment

[Reblog] Health insurers using drug coverage to discriminate

From the 28 January 2015 post at Engineering Evil – Intel Portal for Weighted Data and Information

In some US health plans, HIV drugs cost nearly $3,000 more per year than in other plans. If left unchecked, this practice could partially undermine a central feature of the Affordable Care Act.

Harvard School of Public Health

Boston, MA — Some insurers offering health plans through the new federal marketplace may be using drug coverage decisions to discourage people with HIV from selecting their plans, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The researchers found that these insurers are placing all HIV drugs in the highest cost-sharing category in their formularies (lists of the plans’ covered drugs and costs), which ends up costing people with HIV several thousands more dollars per year than those enrolled in other plans.

The study appears online January 28, 2015 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

January 29, 2015 Posted by | health care | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Legal Drug-Pushing: How Disease Mongers Keep Us All Doped Up – John-Manuel Andriote – Health – The Atlantic

daily dose

daily dose (Photo credit: nirbhao)

By manipulating our fear of suffering and death, big pharmaceutical companies are able to keep us coming back for expensive medications

Legal Drug-Pushing: How Disease Mongers Keep Us All Doped Up – John-Manuel Andriote – Health – The Atlantic

Excerpts from this article from the 3 April 2012online edition of The Atlantic

.Pharmaceutical giants, like small-town pizza parlors, have two options for making more money: convince regulars to buy more of what they obviously like, or find ways to persuade more people that they will be happier with this drug or that thin crust with extra cheese.In the case of the drug companies, it’s not our taste buds they’re appealing to. Instead, they market prescription drugs directly to consumers — a practice legal only in the United States and New Zealand — by, basically, manipulating our fear of suffering and death.These “disease mongers” — as science writer Lynne Payer in her 1992 book of that name called the drug industry and the doctors, insurers, and others who comprise its unofficial sales force — spin and toil “to convince essentially well people that they are sick, or slightly sick people that they are very ill.”Changing the metrics for diagnosing a disease is one reliable technique. Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, associate professor of pharmacology and director of the industry watchdog group PharmedOut.org at Georgetown University School of Medicine, pointed to how the numbers used to diagnose diabetes and high cholesterol have been lowered over time. “The very numbers we use have been reduced to the point of absurdity,” she said. “120/80 was considered normal blood pressure; now it’s considered ‘pre-hypertension.'”Entirely new diseases can be, and have been, invented to extend a manufacturer’s patent on a highly profitable drug. Fugh-Berman said Eli Lilly stood to lose a lot of profits once the patent expired on its hugely popular antidepressant Prozac. “So they positioned this new condition, PMDD (Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder), and then went to physicians and the FDA with their highly paid experts who said PMDD is a tragic disease, and they got approved for Sarafem, the same drug. It’s an on-label use for a repackaged drug; they created the disease and then got a drug re-approved that was going off patent.”..

The article goes on to outline one feature of the “medical industrial complex” –  the expansion of disease categories to include precursor conditions as psychosis risk syndrome. These categories are included in professional manuals, making it easier for drug companies to develop and market new drugs associated with conditions recognized by medical associations.

The authors also asks if Americans are being overdiagnosed through an overly medicalized drug culture partly created through aggressive prescription drug advertisements.  Responsibility for addressing this issue is in the hands of consumers, professional health care providers, government regulators, and all who contribute to our culture (as artistis, writers, and journalists).

Read the entire article here.

Related Resources

  • ClinicalTrials.gov -up-to-date information for locating federally  and privately supported clinical trials for a wide range of diseases and  conditions. A clinical trial (also clinical research) is a research study in  human volunteers to answer specific health questions. Interventional trials  determine whether experimental treatments or new ways of using known therapies  are safe and effective under controlled environments.

A growing number of clinical trials publish at least some of their results at ClinicalTrials.gov
Use the Advanced Search and use the Search Results to limit to Studies with Results

  • Cochrane Systematic Reviews
    (Click here for the free summary version)Cochrane Reviews are systematic reviews of primary research in human health care and health policy, and are internationally recognised as the highest standard in evidence-based health care. They investigate the effects of interventions for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. They also assess the accuracy of a diagnostic test for a given condition in a specific patient group and setting. They are published online in The Cochrane Library.Each systematic review addresses a clearly formulated question; for example: Can antibiotics help in alleviating the symptoms of a sore throat? All the existing primary research on a topic that meets certain criteria is searched for and collated, and then assessed using stringent guidelines, to establish whether or not there is conclusive evidence about a specific treatment. The reviews are updated regularly, ensuring that treatment decisions can be based on the most up-to-date and reliable evidence
  • Drug Information Portal
    A gateway to selected drug information from the US government. It links you to information on over 12,000 drugs from trusted consumer drug information sources (as MedlinePlus Drug Information), the US Food and Drug Information (as Drugs @FDA), LactMed (summary of effects on breastfeeding), and more.
  • Clinically important safety information and reporting serious problems with human medical products.
    Safety information includes drug information, recalls & alerts, drug shortage information, and medication guides.
  • Adverse Reaction Online Database contains information about suspected adverse reactions (also known as side effects) to health products, recalls, advisories, and warnings from the Canadian government
  • Learn about your prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines. Includes side effects, dosage, special precautions, and more.
    Browse dietary supplements and herbal remedies to learn about their effectiveness, usual dosage, and drug interactions.
  • We should treat diseases not create diseases to treat (medrants.com)
  • Pop. Snort. Parachute.(New York Magazine, 2005))

    To many New York teenagers, all the world’s a pharmacy. There is a vanishing distinction between pills for medication and for recreation, and the much-touted risk of suicide misses the point.By David Amsden Published May 21, 2005

    “….Drug companies, though, have plenty of incentives to market their drugs to kids. Adolescents represent a relatively untapped (but rapidly growing) market for drugmakers, something any successful business looks to exploit. And they’re generally encouraged to do so by the government. A federal law passed in 1997 allows a drug company to keep its patent an extra six months by performing clinical trials on children, which translates into enormous profits. Zoloft, for instance, grossed about $3.1 billon in sales last year, so that additional time is hugely lucrative.

    Meanwhile, the shame associated with psychotropic meds continues to dissipate as doctors write more prescriptions and the diagnosed “disorders” become less severe-sounding. First there was depression, then social-anxiety disorder; now we have general-anxiety disorder, which Xanax’s Website defines as having “vague feelings that something bad is going to happen,” an apt description of what it’s like to be an adolescent. Zoloft’s Website describes social-anxiety disorder as often starting in the “mid-teen” years, and yet the drug’s television ad campaign, with its cartoon powder puffs, looks like a Sesame Streetouttake. And while Pfizer denies targeting kids, teenagers themselves aren’t so sure. “That’s so geared toward children,” Timothy told me. “It’s like, ‘You’re not happy anymore? Here, take some pills and you’ll be appreciating butterflies left and right!’ ”

    “What’s really changed is that now they market medical conditions,” says Marcia Angell, a member of Harvard Medical School’s Department of Social Medicine and author of The Truth About the Drug Companies, the just-published indictment of big pharmaceutical firms. “It’s simple—there will always be more healthy people than sick people, so they need to make more people think they’re sick. Teens are naturally going through an intense period of ups and downs. The marketing makes them think the downs are unacceptable, that they’re a disorder.”

    What such marketing cannot take into account is that kids are cynical, reluctant to take the word of adults at face value. When this attitude mixes with prescription drugs, it turns into a desire to reinvent their intended uses in a manner that’s not necessarily ill-intentioned. Because the taboo truth is that illicit use can be legitimately helpful, which makes the dangers that much easier to overlook….

  • Many NIH-funded clinical trials go unpublished over two years after completion (with ClinicalTrials.gov link for many trial study results) (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
  • Pharmaceutical Companies Turn to Checklists to Sell More Drugs (labsoftnews.typepad.com)
  • Painkiller sales soar across U.S., spread to new areas (usatoday.com)
  • Tony Bennet Says Legalizing Drugs Could Prevent Deaths Like Whitney Houston’s; Prescription Drugs Aren’t Safer (blisstree.com)
  • The billion-dollar battle over premenstrual disorder (salon.com)

April 5, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Taking A Predictive Approach To Identifying Adverse Drug Reactions

New mathematical method combines widely available data to potentially predict drug safety issues years earlier than currently possible

From the 21 December 2011 Boston Children’s Hospital news release

Boston, Mass. – In a move aimed at bolstering current systems for assessing and monitoring drug safety, researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston have created a new method that combines multiple forms of widely available data to predict adverse drug reactions. Unlike current approaches, which rely on detecting evidence of drug safety issues as they accumulate over time in clinical databases, this new method may be able to identify issues years in advance.

This study, led by Aurel Cami, PhD, and Ben Reis, PhD, of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Informatics Program (CHIP), appeared online December 21 in Science Translational Medicine.In a move aimed at bolstering current systems for assessing and monitoring drug safety, researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston have created a new method that combines multiple forms of widely available data to predict adverse drug reactions. Unlike current approaches, which rely on detecting evidence of drug safety issues as they accumulate over time in clinical databases, this new method may be able to identify issues years in advance.
This study, led by Aurel Cami, PhD, and Ben Reis, PhD, of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Informatics Program (CHIP), appeared online December 21 in Science Translational Medicine.

The safety of drugs in the market is currently assessed through a combination of adverse drug event (ADE) reporting and data mining tools designed to detect previously unrecognized drug-ADEs relationships. While generally effective, these methods may not be able to flag the presence of certain types of ADEs until patients have been on the drug for some time.

Because of these limitations, it can take years before physicians and regulators accumulate enough data to recognize serious safety problems with a particular drug and take appropriate action.

To help address these delays and the public health risks associated with them, Reis and Cami set out to create a mathematical model for predicting drug-ADE relationships that might likely appear within a few years of a drug’s entry into the market. …

Read the entire news article

Related Resources

  • MedWatch: The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program (jflahiff.wordpress.com)

    Some examples of good drug information Web sites

    Drugs, Supplements, and Herbal Information (from a MedlinePlus page)

    Prescription and over-the-counter medication information contains answers to many general questions including topics as what a drug is used for, precautions, side effects, dietary instructions, and overdoses. From the American Society of Health System Pharmacists

    Herb and supplement information includes information on uses based on scientific evidence as well as safety and potential interactions with drugs, herbs, and supplements. From Natural Standard, an independent group of researchers and clinicians.


    Drugs and Supplements (sponsored by the Mayo Clinic)

    Somewhat lengthy drug and over-the-counter medicationinformation with these sections: description, before using, proper use, precautions and side effects. From Micromedex, a trusted source of healthcare information for health professionals. 

    Herb and supplement information includes information on uses based on scientific evidence as well as safety and potential interactions with drugs, herbs, and supplements. From Natural Standard, an independent group of researchers and clinicians.

    Drug Information Portal

    A good central source of drug information by the US government (the National Institutes of Health). It links you to information on over 12,000 drugs from trusted consumer drug information sources, the US Food and Drug Information, and LactMed (summary of effects on breastfeeding), It also gives any summaries from medical and toxicological articles (however, some whole articles may not be for free on the Internet).

     

January 2, 2012 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , | Leave a comment

Search the Office of Minority Health’s Library Catalog Online | Health Information Literacy – for health and well being

OMH LogoUS Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health

 

Search the Office of Minority Health’s Library Catalog Online | Health Information Literacy – for health and well being

The catalog can be searched to find free online material related to the health status of racial and ethnic minority populations. including

  • Books
  • Reports
  • Journals
  • Media
  • Organizations

 

The latest acquisitions include (click here to view the list with the hyperlinks)


1. Access to Care [Infopak, 2010].   Chicago, IL: American Dental Association (ADA, 2010. 8 p.

MH11D10736

  Available online at

http://www.ada.org/sections/educationAndCareers/pdfs/access to care infopak-2010.pdf   [PDF

| 205.99KB]

2. Collecting and Using Race, Ethnicity and Language Data in Ambulatory Settings: A White 

Paper with Recommendations from the Commission to End Health Care Disparities.

Chicago, IL: American Medical Association (AMA), 2011. 26 p.   MH11D10737

  Available online at http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/public-health/cehcd-redata.pdf

[PDF | 299.14KB]

3. Combating the Silent Epidemic of Viral Hepatitis: Action Plan for the Prevention, Care & 

Treatment of Viral Hepatitis.   Washington, D.C. US Department of Health and Human Services

(HHS), 2011. vi, 76 p.   MH11D10748

  Available online at http://www.hhs.gov/ash/initiatives/hepatitis/actionplan viralhepatitis2011.pdf

[PDF | 672.06KB]

4. Developing Health Literacy Older Adults: Expert Panel Report.   Washington, D.C. US

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 2009. iv, 48 p.   MH11D10753

  Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/healthliteracy/Learn/pdf/olderadults.pdf  [PDF | 2.37MB]

5. Do Baby Products Prevent SIDS? FDA Says No.   Rockville, MD: Food and Drug

Administration (FDA), 2011. 2 p.   MH11D10756

  Available online at

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/UCM275852.pdf  [PDF |

568.43KB]

6. Dream Baskets: Focusing On your Future [Las Canastas de Suenos: Enfocandote en Tu 

Futuro]: Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention [Prevencion del Embarazo en Adolescentes].

Sarasota, FL: Oasis Publications, Inc., 2012. 48 p.   MH11D10740

7. Ending the Tobacco Epidemic: A Tobacco Control Strategic Action Plan for the U.S. 

Department of Health and Human Services.   Washington, D.C. US Department of Health and

Human Services (HHS), 2010. 62 p.   MH11D10750

  Available online at http://www.hhs.gov/ash/initiatives/tobacco/tobaccostrategicplan2010.pdf

[PDF | 2.24MB]

8. Expert Panel on Integrated Guidelines for Cardiovascular Health Risk Reduction in 

Children and Adolescents: Summary Report.   Bethesda, MD: National Heart Lung and Blood

Institute, 2011. 125 p.   MH11D10757

  Available online at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cvd ped/peds guidelines sum.pdf  [PDF

| 1.24MB]

9. First Nations Traditional Models of Wellness [Traditional Medicines and Practices]: 

Environmental Scan in British Colombia.  West Vancouver, BC: First Nations Health Society,

2010. 51 p.   MH11D10781

  Available online at

http://www.fnhc.ca/pdf/Traditional Models of Wellness Report FIN- 2010.pdf  [PDF | 1.69MB]

10. Giving 2.0: Transform your Giving and Our World.   San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, A Wiley

Imprint, 2012. vii, 312 p.   MH11D10791

11. Healthy People 2010 Final Review.   Hyattsville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human

Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics, 2011.

662 p.   MH11D10755

  Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hpdata2010/hp2010final review.pdf  [PDF |

12.10MB]

12. HIV in Communities of Color: The Compendium of Culturally Competent Promising 

Practices: The Role of Traditional Healing in HIV Clinical Management.   Washington, DC:

AIDS Education and Training Center, National Multicultural Center, Howard University Medical

School, 2011. 64 p.   MH11D10747

  Available online at http://www.aetcnmc.org/CompendiumBook Traditional Healing.pdf  [PDF |

2.51MB]

13. Language Access & Interpretation: Resources for Policy, Research, Services and 

Advocacy.   San Francisco, CA: Asian and Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence,

2011. 16 p.   MH11D10785

  Available online at

Click to access Language.Access.Interpretation-Resource.List-APIIDV-5.2011.pdf

[PDF | 299.09KB]

14. The Measure of America 2010-2011: Mapping Risks and Resilience.   Brooklyn, NY:

American Human Development Project, 2010. 317 p.   MH11D10795

  Available online at http://www.measureofamerica.org/the-measure-of-america-2010-2011-book/

15. Medicaid: A Lifeline for Blacks and Latinos with Serious Health Care Needs.   Washington,

D.C. Families USA, 2011. 25 p.   MH11D10788

Available online at http://familiesusa2.org/assets/pdfs/medicaid/Lifeline-Blacks-and-Latinos.pdf

[PDF | 499.89KB]

16. Multiple Chronic Conditions: A Strategic Framework: Optimum Health and Quality of Life 

for Individuals with Multiple Chronic Conditions.   Washington, D.C. US Department of

Health and Human Services (HHS), 2010. 103 p.   MH11D10751

  Available online at http://www.hhs.gov/ash/initiatives/mcc/mcc framework.pdf  [PDF |

234.43KB]

17. Plan EJ 2014.   Washington, D.C. United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 2011.

vi, 185 p.   MH11D10759

  Available online at

http://www.epa.gov/compliance/ej/resources/policy/plan-ej-2014/plan-ej-2011-09.pdf  [PDF |

2.32MB]

18. Plan for a New Future: Impact of Social Security Reform on People of Color.   Oakland, CA:

Insight Center for Community Economic Development and Global Policy Solutions, 2011. 48 p.

MH11D10784

  Available online at

http://www.insightcced.org/NewFuture Social Security Commission Report Final.pdf  [PDF |

910.01KB]

19. Portrayal and Perception: Two Audits of News Media Reporting on African American Men 

and Boys.   Pittsburgh, PA: The Heinz Endowment, 2011. 66 p.   MH11D10789

  Available online at

http://www.soros.org/initiatives/usprograms/focus/cbma/articles publications/publications/portrayal

-and-perception-20111101/portrayal-and-perception-20111101.pdf  [PDF | 766.18KB]

20. Priority Areas for Improvement of Quality in Public Health.   Washington, D.C. US

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 2010. xiv, 91 p.   MH11D10752

  Available online at http://www.hhs.gov/ash/initiatives/quality/quality/improvequality2010.pdf

[PDF | 5.65MB]

21. Promising Pregnancies [=Embarazos Prometedores].   Sarasota, FL: Oasis Publications,

Inc., 2012. 38p.   MH11D10741

22. Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of “Don’t Ask, 

Don’t Tell”.   Washington, D.C. Department of Defense, 2010. iv, 257 p.   MH11D10738

  Available online at

http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2010/0610 dadt/DADTReport FINAL20101130(secure-hi

res).pdf  [PDF | 7.22MB]

23. Sexual Orientation and U.S. Military Personnel: An Update on Rand’s 1993.   Santa Monica,

CA: RAND Corporation, 2010. xxxiv, 410 p.   MH11D10739

  Available online at

http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2010/RANDMG1056.pdf  [PDF |

2.49MB]

24. Shattered Lives: Homicides, Domestic Violence and Asian Families.   San Francisco, CA:

Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence (APIIDV), 2010. 74 p.   MH11D10790

  Available online at http://www.apiidv.org/files/Homicides.DV.AsianFamilies-APIIDV-2010.pdf

[PDF | 7.52MB]

25. Social Determinants Approaches to Public Health: From Concept to Practice.   Geneva,

Switzerland: World Health Organization (WHO), 2010. 209 p.   MH11D10796

  Available online at http://www.who.int/social determinants/en/

26. Status Report on the Implementation of the Viral Hepatitis Action Plan.   Washington, D.C.

US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 2011. 21 p.   MH11D10749

  Available online at http://www.aids.gov/pdf/status-report-on-implementation-of-vhap.pdf  [PDF |

652.91KB]

27. Taking the First Steps: Experiences of Six Community/State Teams Addressing Racism’s 

Impacts on Infant Mortality : Team Profiles from the Infant Mortality and Racism Action 

Learning Collaborative, a project of the Partnership to Eliminate Disparities in Infant 

Mortality .   Omaha, NE: CityMatch, 2011. 81 p.   MH11D10780

  Available online at http://www.citymatch.org/downloads/TakingFirstStepBooklet.pdf  [PDF |

8.93MB]

28. Trends in U.S. Public Awareness of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (1999-2010): Study 

Brief.   Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health

(OMH), 2010. 9 p.   MH11D10744

  Available online at http://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/assets/pdf/checked/1/2010StudyBrief.pdf

[PDF | 112.70KB]

29. Trends in U.S. Public Awareness of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (1999-2010): 2010 

General Population Toplines.   Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,

Office of Minority Health (OMH), 2010. 15 p.   MH11D10745

  Available online at http://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/assets/pdf/checked/1/HHToplines2010.pdf

[PDF | 257.47KB]

30. Violence against Asian and Pacific Islander Women.   San Francisco, CA: Asian and Pacific

Islander Institute on Domestic Violence, 2011. 2 p.   MH11D10786

  Available online at

http://www.apiidv.org/files/Violence.against.API.Women-FactSheet-APIIDV-2.2011.pdf  [PDF |

138.63KB]

Highlights of New Journal Articles Added to the Knowledge Center: 

 

1. Acculturation: State of the Science of Nursing.  Journal of Cultural Diversity, v. 18, #2 (Summer), p. 39-42, 

2011.  #31515 

Buscemi, C. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21744672

2. Addressing Intimate Partner Violence in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Patients: Journal of 

General Internal Medicine, v. 26, #8 (August), p. 930-933, 2011.  #31486 

Ard, K. L. Makadon, H. J. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21448753

3. Addressing Racial Healthcare Disparities: How Can We Shift the Focus from Patients to Providers?.

Journal of General Internal Medicine, v. 26, #8 (August), p. 828-830, 2011.   #31482 

Burgess, D. J 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21647749

4. Affordable Care Act Reforms Could Reduce the Number of Underinsured US Adults By 70 Percent: Health 

Affairs, v. 30, #9 (September), p. 1762-1771, 2011.  #31525 

Schoen, C. Doty, M. M. Robertson, R. H. Collins, S. R. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21900668

5. The Case for Research Justice: Inclusion of Patients With Limited English Proficiency in Clinical Research.

Academic Medicine, v. 86, #3 (March), p. 389-393, 2011.  #31420 

Glickman, S. W. Ndubuizu, A. Weinfurt, K. P. Hamilton, C. D., Glickman, L. T., et al. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21248607

6. Contributors of Black Men’s Success in Admission to and Graduation from Medical School: Academic 

Medicine, v. 86, 7 (July), p. 892-900, 2011.  #31406 

Thomas, B. Manusov, E. G. Wang, A. Livingston, H. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21617511

7. Disparities in Enrollment and Use of an Electronic Patient Portal: Journal of General Internal Medicine, v. 

26, #10 (October), p. 1105-1111, 2011.  #31472 

Goei, M. S. Brown, T. L. Williams, A. Hasnain-wynia, R., et al. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21509604

8. Enhancing Measurement of Primary Health Care Indicators Using an Equity Lens: An Ethnographic Study.

International Journal for Equity in Health, v. 10, #38 (September 11), 12 p., 2011.  

Wong, S. T. Browne, A. J. Varcoe, C. Lavoie, J. Smye, V., et al. #31492 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21892956

9. Health Information Technology and Disparities in Quality of Care: Journal of General Internal Medicine, v. 

26, #10 (October), p. 1084-1085, 2011.  #31469 

Sequist, T. D. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21809173

10. The Meaning of Numbers in Health: Exploring Health Numeracy in a Mexican-American Population.

Journal of General Internal Medicine, v. 26, #7 (July), p. 705-711, 2011. #31488 

Schapira, M. M. Fletcher, K. E. Ganschow, P. S. Walker, C. M. Tyler, B., et al. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21336671

11. Overcoming Health Literacy Barriers: A Model for Action.  Journal of Cultural Diversity, v. 18, #2 

(Summer), p. 60-67, 2011.  #31513 

Mancuso, L. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21744676


December 27, 2011 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories | | Leave a comment

Rising reports of bad reactions to drugs

Rising reports of bad reactions to drugs

From the March 28 2011 Health Day news item   By Alison McCook

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Official reports of negative reactions to prescription drugs have increased dramatically over the last decade, according to a new study.

In a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) database launched in 1969, researchers found that over half the reports of “adverse events” suspected to be caused by a particular drug or device date from just the past 10 years.

The FDA currently receives about half-a-million such reports of health problems, and even deaths, associated with medical products each year. In 2000, they came in at a rate of nearly five for every 10,000 office visits in which at least one prescription was written. By 2005, that rate had risen to nearly seven per 10,000 visits, according to the new analysis published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Between 2000 and 2010, the number of reports coming in grew steadily by more than 11 percent every year. By 2010, they added up to 2.2 million reports — 55 percent of the entire database total.

Study author Dr. Sheila Weiss-Smith of the University of Maryland in Baltimore cautioned that the number of reports does not equal the true number of negative reactions to drugs.

Manufacturers are required to report to the FDA any health problem they suspect stems from one of their products, but for doctors, patients, lawyers, and anyone else who reports these reactions, it’s entirely voluntary, she told Reuters Health.

It’s hard to estimate how many negative reactions to drugs actually occur, Weiss-Smith noted. Some experts suggest official reports represent one-tenth of the number of actual negative reactions, but she said she doesn’t trust that figure. “We just don’t know. We don’t know what percentage of events actually gets reported.”…
…More people are taking drugs, and for longer times, which increases the potential for bad reactions, and negative interactions between drugs, she said….

…Negative reactions can occur from a variety of drugs, and patients need to take steps to protect themselves, Weiss-Smith urged. “Drugs are chemicals. And you’re putting something in your body. You need to know what it is.” [Editor Flahiff’s emphasis]She recommended that everyone tell their doctors what they are taking, and try to go to one pharmacy, “so someone can keep track of all the different things,” preventing negative interactions.

If you keep adding drugs to your daily routine, talk to your doctor about whether you can cut back on others, so that you are only taking the minimum necessary amount, she said. Read all the material that comes with medicines, and tell someone immediately if you start to feel unwell. “If something doesn’t feel right, talk to your doctor, talk to your pharmacist.” [Flahiff’s emphasis]

Are you looking for information about a drug? to use for consultations with your health care provider?
Please use reputable resources that strive to provide unbiased information.
Pharmacists are great sources of information. Practicing pharmacists are college graduates (many with Master’s degrees) that are state licensed. Many give free information at their place of business, they seldom ask if you are one of their customers!!

Also, don’t forget librarians as your personal, professional guides to information in print and online resources.
Contact your local public, academic, or medical library. Many medical and academic libraries, especially those state funded, give at least some assistance to the public. Call ahead. You may be pleasantly surprised!

And, as always, contact me( jmflahiff who virtually resides at yahoo.com)

Some examples of good drug information Web sites

Drugs, Supplements, and Herbal Information (from a MedlinePlus page)

Prescription and over-the-counter medication information contains answers to many general questions including topics as what a drug is used for, precautions, side effects, dietary instructions, and overdoses. From the American Society of Health System Pharmacists

Herb and supplement information includes information on uses based on scientific evidence as well as safety and potential interactions with drugs, herbs, and supplements. From Natural Standard, an independent group of researchers and clinicians.


Drugs and Supplements (sponsored by the Mayo Clinic)

Somewhat lengthy drug and over-the-counter medicationinformation with these sections: description, before using, proper use, precautions and side effects. From Micromedex, a trusted source of healthcare information for health professionals. 

Herb and supplement information includes information on uses based on scientific evidence as well as safety and potential interactions with drugs, herbs, and supplements. From Natural Standard, an independent group of researchers and clinicians.

Drug Information Portal

A good central source of drug information by the US government (the National Institutes of Health). It links you to information on over 12,000 drugs from trusted consumer drug information sources, the US Food and Drug Information, and LactMed (summary of effects on breastfeeding), It also gives any summaries from medical and toxicological articles (however, some whole articles may not be for free on the Internet).


March 30, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public), Librarian Resources | , , , | Leave a comment

A safer, more effective morphine may soon be possible (& drug information resources)

A safer, more effective morphine may soon be possible

From the March 24 2011 Science Daily news item

ScienceDaily (Mar. 25, 2011) — An orphan drug** originally used for HIV treatment has been found to short-circuit the process that results in additional sensitivity and pain from opioid use. The study by researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine is reported in the March 25, 2011 issue of Brain, Behavior and Immunity***….

** Information on this orphan drug, AMD3100, may be found  through Drug Information Portal (US National Library of Medicine) at the Plerixafor [USAN] Web page

For related drug information resources, please see my previous posting Drug Information Product…

 

***For suggestions on how to get this article for free or at low cost, click here

 

March 27, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Medical and Health Research News, Professional Health Care Resources, Public Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Drug Information Product DailyMed Mobile Version Launched

DailyMed Mobile Version Launched

From the National Library of Medicine (NLM)  March 4 announcement

NLM® released DailyMed® Mobile on January 31, 2011. DailyMed provides access to over 20,000 structured product labels (SPL) from the Food and Drug Administration. DailyMed mobile features a simplified design enabling easy search, retrieval and display of SPLs from any Web-enabled mobile device (see Figure 1). Users can also e-mail SPLs to themselves or colleagues for later viewing on other platforms.

Editor Flahiff’s note:  You also cannot go wrong with these nonmobile(at least for now!)  resources (via a Consumer Health Library Guide

Dietary Supplements Labels Database

Information about ingredients in more than three thousand selected brands of dietary supplements. It enables users to determine what ingredients are in specific brands and to compare ingredients in different brands. Information is also provided on the health benefits claimed by manufacturers. These claims by manufacturers have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Check out the Help section for tips on how to browse and search this site.

Drug Digest

This noncommercial consumer health and drug information site provides information about drugs and treatment options to be discussed with your primary health care provider or a pharmacist.  Information about over 1,500 drugsas well as common herbs and supplements. The check interactions tab (potential interactions between drugs)  and conditions/treatments area provide easy-to-read overviews. Information provided by Drawing pharmacy experts, licensed doctors of pharmacy, and physicians. From ExpressScripts.

Drugs and Supplements (sponsored by the Mayo Clinic)

Somewhat lengthy drug and over-the-counter medicationinformation with these sections: description, before using, proper use, precautions and side effects. From Micromedex, a trusted source of healthcare information for health professionals. 

Herb and supplement information includes information on uses based on scientific evidence as well as safety and potential interactions with drugs, herbs, and supplements. From Natural Standard, an independent group of researchers and clinicians.

Drug Information Portal

A good central source of drug information by the US government (the National Institutes of Health). It links you to information on over 12,000 drugs from trusted consumer drug information sources, the US Food and Drug Information, and LactMed*** (summary of effects on breastfeeding i), It also gives any summaries from medical and toxicological articles (however, some whole articles may not be for free on the Internet).

PillBox Beta

Aids  in the identification of unknown solid dosage pharmaceuticals using images to identify pills (color, shape, etc) as well as a separate advanced search (imprint, drug manufacture, ingredients, etc)

HMO Collaboratory Videocast

Announcements

Beware of Fraudulent Weight Loss “Dietary Supplements”

The Food and Drug Administration warns that false claims and tainted products can cause serious harm to consumers.
http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm246742.htm

Consumer Update: Dietary Supplements

The Food and Drug Administration has found nearly 300 fraudulent products—promoted mainly for weight loss, sexual enhancement, and bodybuilding—that contain hidden or deceptively labeled ingredients.
http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm246744.htm

***As of July 2011…The National Library of Medicine Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed)
has added complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) products. CAM
products generally consist of dietary supplements derived from botanicals
(herbals), “nutraceuticals” (natural and synthetic nonherbals, such as
coenzyme Q10), and related products.
http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT

March 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ebrary Offers Free Breast Cancer Searchable Information Center

From an ebrary news announcement (via a Resource Shelf item)

September 29, 2010 12:21 PM Eastern Daylight Time

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, ebrary®, a leading provider of digital content products and technologies, today announced it has collaborated with librarians from other organizations to create an open access database of breast cancer publications. The site is available today at http://site.ebrary.com/lib/breastcancer.

“Breast cancer strikes over 1.3 million women around the globe each year and is the leading cause of cancer death in women, according to the American Cancer Society”

ebrary’s Breast Cancer Searchable Information Center features a range of authoritative fact sheets, posters, and other materials from government agencies such as the National Cancer Institute, National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, United States Food and Drug Administration, Office of Women’s Health, and other authoritative sources.

“Breast cancer strikes over 1.3 million women around the globe each year and is the leading cause of cancer death in women, according to the American Cancer Society,” said Christopher Warnock, CEO of ebrary. “We hope that by using our technology to make some of the most important information contained within government documents more discoverable, and by making DASH! available to others who wish to contribute relevant materials, we can provide a helpful resource for anyone who needs information on this prevalent disease.”

ebrary’s Breast Cancer Searchable Information Center is just one of a growing number of open access collections created by ebrary staff and customers. For a listing of additional databases visit http://www.ebrary.com/corp/accessCollections.jsp.

All ebrary products and services include powerful tools for making the research process quick and efficient including:

  • Available anytime through any web enabled device including the iPad — no cumbersome downloads.
  • Multiple options for searching, navigating, and browsing.
  • ebrary InfoTools™, which turns every word into a portal to additional information on the web.
  • Notes and highlights that are automatically stored on a personal bookshelf.
  • Ability to copy/paste and print text with automatic citations and URL hyperlinks back to the source.
  • Personal bookshelves with moveable folders that can be shared with others.
  • Much more!

September 30, 2010 Posted by | Health Education (General Public) | , , | 1 Comment

New NLM® Web Site Sponsored by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Now Available

[From a recent US National Library of Medicine Technical Bulletin item. ]

A new Web site sponsored by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now available.

This database provides access to the FDA Unique Ingredient Identifier (UNII) assigned to substances by the FDA Substance Registration System.

The UNII is an essential element required for the listing of substances in the FDA Structured Product Labeling (SPL). The Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) of the National Library of Medicine® (NLM) and the FDA collaborated to make access to this code easier.

Users entering a substance name or a UNII will be directed to the FDA record. Spell checking and autosuggest are available for each query. If no UNII is available for a substance, the user is referred to the FDA to request one.

Links to the NLM ChemIDplus and the Drug Information Portal are provided for most drugs. The database is updated weekly with data provided by FDA.

July 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Look up medications more quickly and easily on Google

From the Google Announcement

11/30/12 | 9:00:00 AM

Labels: 

We get a lot of queries for medicine on Google. So to make it quick and easy for you to learn about medications, we’ll start showing key facts — side effects, related medications, links to in-depth resources, and more — right on the search results page.


This data comes from the U.S. FDA, the National Library of Medicine, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, among others. It’s part of the Knowledge Graph — our project to map out billions of real-world things, from famous artists to roller coasters to planets (and now medications). We hope you find this useful, but remember that these results do not act as medical advice.

Posted by Aaron Brown, Senior Product Manager, Search

 

Related Resources (because there are other reputable resources besides the one’s Google mines! with additional drug info)

MedlinePlus Trusted Health Information for You

 
 
 
Learn about your prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines. Includes side effects, dosage, special precautions, and more.
Browse dietary supplements and herbal remedies to learn about their effectiveness, usual dosage, and drug interactions.
 
Information about label ingredients in more than 6,000 selected brands of dietary supplements. It enables users to compare label ingredients in different brands. Information is also provided on the “structure/function” claims made by manufacturers.
These claims by manufacturers have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Companies may not market as dietary supplements any products that are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
 
 
Drug Information Portal
A gateway to selected drug information from the US government.  It links you to information on over 12,000 drugs from trusted consumer drug information sources (as MedlinePlus Drug Information), the US Food and Drug Information (as Drugs @FDA)LactMed(summary of effects on breastfeeding), and more.
 


 
Pillbox enables rapid identification of unknown solid-dosage medications (tablets/capsules) based on physical characteristics and high-resolution images.
Once a medication is identified, Pillbox provides links to drug information and drug labels.
 
 
MedWatch logo
Clinically important safety information and reporting serious problems with human medical products.
Safety information includes drug information, recalls & alerts, drug shortage information, and medication guides.
 

Together we

Adverse Reaction Online Database contains information about suspected adverse reactions (also known as side effects) to health products, recalls, advisories, and warnings from the Canadian government
 
 
More Drug Resources at Drug Information Resources 
      (by the Consumer and Patient Health Information Section of the Medical Library Association)
 
Including…..
  • CenterWatch/Clinical Trials Listing Service
    This useful resource lists newly approved drugs, drugs in current clinical research, weekly trial results, as well as a link to the PDR Family Medical Guide for Prescription Drugs.
  • Longwood Herbal Task Force
    This site has in-depth monographs about herbal products and supplements written by health professionals and students. It provides clinical information summaries, patient fact sheets, and information about toxicity and interactions as well as relevant links. The task force is a cooperative effort of the staff and students from Children’s Hospital, the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
  • FDA Recalls  provides information gathered from press releases and other public notices about certain recalls of FDA-regulated products
  • Epocrates

 

 

December 12, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public) | , , , | Leave a comment

Traditional Chinese Medicines – Some Are Dangerous

Herbal supplements

Herbal supplements (Photo credit: Ano Lobb. @healthyrx)

As I’ve stated in previous postings here, choose your alternative/traditional/complementary medicines and therapies wisely.
Also, include herbs, supplements and traditional medicines in “medications” lists you share with your healthcare provider, pharmacist, or any healthcare professional you are consulting.  Many of these non-prescription items can interfere with any prescription medicine you are taking.
The Related Resources section below has links to trusted resources. However, they are not meant to replace advice from you health care provider.

From the 14 April 2012 article at Medical News Today

Australian border officials seized 15 TCMs (traditional Chinese medicines), which researchers from the Murdoch University analyzed to reveal the animal and plant composition by using new DNA sequencing technology. The results, published in PLoS Genetics, showed that some of the analyzed TCM samples contained potentially toxic plant ingredients, allergens, as well as traces of endangered animals.Leading researcher, Dr. Bunce, and a Murdoch University Australian Research Council Future Fellow commented:

“TCMs have a long cultural history, but today consumers need to be aware of the legal and health safety issues before adopting them as a treatment option.”

Related Resources

  • HerbMed® 
    an interactive, electronic herbal database – provides hyperlinked access to the scientific data underlying the use of herbs for health. It is an impartial, evidence-based information resource provided by the nonprofit Alternative Medicine Foundation, Inc. This public site provides access to 20 of the most popular herbs.
  • Herbs at a Glance (US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine)
    a series of fact sheets that provides basic information about specific herbs or botanicals—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information.
  • Herbal Links
    a compilation of  sites that the researchers at the University of Iowa Drug Information Service consider to be the highest quality and most useful to pharmacists for finding information concerning herbal medicines.
  • Longwood Herbal Task Force
    This site has in-depth monographs about herbal products and supplements written by health professionals and students. It provides clinical information summaries, patient fact sheets, and information about toxicity and interactions as well as relevant links. The task force is a cooperative effort of the staff and students from Children’s Hospital, the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

  • Drug Information Portal (US National Library of Medicine)
    Search by drug.  Information includes some basic resources (as that at MedlinePlus) plus some more technical ones (as Toxilogical Data and Literature)

  • Dietary Supplements Labels Database Information about label ingredients in more than 6,000 selected brands of dietary supplements. It enables users to compare label ingredients in different brands. Information is also provided on the “structure/function” claims made by manufacturers.These claims by manufacturers have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Companies may not market as dietary supplements any products that are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
  • NCCAM Director’s Page – It’s Time to Talk (March 13, 2012)
    • Time to Talk is a recently launched NCAAM series which encourages folks to discuss complementary health practices with their health care providersThe director notes the following
      • We know that nearly 40 percent of Americans use some kind of complementary health practice. But we also know that most patients do not proactively disclose use of complementary health practices to their health care providers. Likewise, most providers don’t initiate the discussion with their patients. As a physician, I strongly believe that patients and their health care providers need to talk openly about all of their health care practices to ensure safe, coordinated care. Talking not only allows fully integrated care, but it also minimizes risks of interactions with a patient’s conventional treatments.
    1. List the complementary health practices you use on your patient history form. When completing the patient history form, be sure to include everything you use—from acupuncture to zinc.  It’s important to give health care providers a full picture of what you do to manage your health.
    2. At each visit, be sure to tell your providers about what complementary health approaches you are using. Don’t forget to include over-the-counter and prescription medicines, as well as dietary and herbal supplements. Make a list in advance, or download and print this wallet card and take it with you. Some complementary health approaches can have an effect on conventional medicine, so your provider needs to know.
    3. If you are considering a new complementary health practice, ask questions. Ask your health care providers about its safety, effectiveness, and possible interactions with medications (both prescription and nonprescription).

April 16, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public) | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ten Tips to Prevent an Accidental Overdose


photo

Always use the cup, syringe, or other dosage device that comes with a medicine. A different device, or a kitchen spoon, could hold the wrong amount.

Red envelope icon for GovdeliveryGet Consumer Updates by E-mail

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For a medicine to work for you—and not against you—you’ve got to take the right dose.
Many over-the-counter liquid medicines—such as pain relievers, cold medicine, cough syrups, and digestion aids—come with spoons, cups, oral droppers, or syringes designed to help consumers measure the proper dose. These “dosage delivery devices” usually have measurement markings on them—such as teaspoons (tsp), tablespoons (tbsp), or milliliters (mL).
But the markings aren’t always clear or consistent with the directions on the medicine’s package. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received numerous reports of accidental overdoses—especially in young children—that were attributed, in part, to the use of dosage delivery devices that were unclear or incompatible with the medicine’s labeled directions for use.
On May 4, 2011, FDA issued a guidance to firms that manufacture, market, or distribute over-the-counter liquid medicines. The guidance calls for them to provide dosage delivery devices with markings that are easy to use and understand.
Parents and caregivers can do their part, too, to avoid giving too much or too little of an over-the-counter medicine. Here are 10 tips:
1.Always follow the directions on the Drug Facts label of your medicine. Read the label every time before you give the medicine.
2.Know the “active ingredient” in the medicine. This is what makes the medicine work and it is always listed at the top of the Drug Facts label. Many medicines used to treat different symptoms have the same active ingredient. So if you’re treating a cold and a headache with two different medicines but both have the same active ingredient, you could be giving two times the normal dose. If you’re confused, check with a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
3.Give the right medicine, in the right amount. Medicines with the same brand name can be sold in different strengths, such as infant, children, and adult formulas. The dose and directions also vary for children of different ages or weights. Always use the right strength and follow the directions exactly. Never use more medicine than directed unless your doctor tells you to do so.
4.Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse to find out what mixes well and what doesn’t. Medicines, vitamins, supplements, foods, and beverages aren’t always compatible.
5.Use the dosage delivery device that comes with the medicine, such as a dropper or a dosing cup. A different device, or a kitchen spoon, could hold the wrong amount of medicine. And never drink liquid medicine from the bottle.
6.Know the difference between a tablespoon (tbsp) and a teaspoon (tsp). A tablespoon holds three times as much medicine as a teaspoon. On measuring tools, a teaspoon (tsp) is equal to “5 mL.”
7.Know your child’s weight. Dosage amounts for some medicines are based on weight. Never guess how much to give your child or try to figure it out from the adult dose instructions. If a dose is not listed for your child’s weight, call your health care professional.
8.Prevent a poison emergency by always using a child-resistant cap. Relock the cap after each use. Be especially careful with any medicines that contain iron; they are the leading cause of poisoning deaths in young children.
9.Store all medicines in a safe place. Some are tasty, colorful, and many can be chewed. Kids may think they’re candy. Store all medicines and vitamins out of your child’s (and your pet’s) sight and reach. If your child takes too much, call the Poison Center Hotline at 800-222-1222 (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or call 9-1-1.
10.Check the medicine three times before using. For any medicine, it is always good practice to first, check the outside packaging for such things as cuts, slices, or tears. Second, once you’re at home, check the label on the inside package to be sure you have the right medicine and that the lid and seal are not broken. Third, check the color, shape, size, and smell. If you notice anything unusual, talk to a pharmacist or other health care professional before using.
This article appears on FDA’s Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

Related Resources (from the University of Toledo Consumer Health Library Guide)

May 5, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety | , , , , | Leave a comment

Public confused about ingredients in pain relievers, study finds

Open bottles of Extra Strength Tylenol and Ext...

Image via Wikipedia

From a 2 May 2011 Science News Daily article

ScienceDaily (May 2, 2011) — People take billions of doses of over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol every year, but many do not pay attention to the active ingredients they contain, such as acetaminophen, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study. That lack of knowledge about popular pain relievers plus particular ignorance of acetaminophen’s presence in more than 600 over-the-counter and prescription medicines could be a key reason acetaminophen overdose has become the leading cause of acute liver failure in the U.S.

The study reported only 31 percent of participants knew Tylenol contained acetaminophen. In addition, 75 percent of participants knew Bayer contained aspirin; 47 percent knew Motrin contained ibuprofen; 19 percent knew Aleve contained naproxen sodium; and 19 percent knew Advil contained ibuprofen.

The solution proposed by the researchers is to develop a universal icon for acetaminophen that would appear on all medicine labels….

…”People may unintentionally misuse these medicines to a point where they cause severe liver damage,” Wolf said. “It’s easy to exceed the safe limit if people don’t realize how much acetaminophen they are taking. Unlike prescription products, there is no gatekeeper, no one monitoring how you take it.”

Individuals don’t understand they may be taking the drug simultaneously in multiple medications, said Jennifer King, lead author of the paper and project leader for medication safety research in Feinberg’s Health Literacy and Learning Program.

The study found only 41 percent of participants read the ingredients on drug labels….

Related Resources (from the University of Toledo Consumer Health Library Guide)

May 4, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories, Medical and Health Research News, Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

AARP Health Tools

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)  now has a Health Tools page addressing with links to

Related Resources (from the University of Toledo Consumer Health Library Guide)

May 1, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Online Medical Advice Can Be a Prescription for Fear

Online Medical Advice Can Be a Prescription for Fear

From the Resource Shelf news item of February 7, 2011 17:04

Online Medical Advice Can Be a Prescription for Fear

If you’re looking for the name of a new pill to “ask your doctor about,” as the ads say, the Mayo Clinic Health Information site is not the place for you. If you’re shopping for a newly branded disorder that might account for your general feeling of unease, Mayo is not for you either. But if you want workaday, can-do health information in a nonprofit environment, plug your symptoms into Mayo’s Symptom Checker. What you’ll get is: No hysteria. No drug peddling. Good medicine. Good ideas.

This is very, very rare on the medical Web, which is dominated by an enormous and powerful site whose name — oh, what the hay, it’s WebMD — has become a panicky byword among laysurfers for “hypochondria time suck.” In more whistle-blowing quarters, WebMD is synonymous with Big Pharma Shilling. A February 2010 investigation into WebMD’s relationship with drug maker Eli Lilly by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa confirmed the suspicions of longtime WebMD users. With the site’s (admitted) connections to pharmaceutical and other companies, WebMD has become permeated with pseudomedicine and subtle misinformation.

Because of the way WebMD frames health information commercially, using the meretricious voice of a pharmaceutical rep, I now recommend that anyone except advertising executives whose job entails monitoring product placement actually block WebMD. It’s not only a waste of time, but it’s also a disorder in and of itself — one that preys on the fear and vulnerability of its users to sell them half-truths and, eventually, pills.

Source:  New York Times

Shirl’s note:  You can’t go wrong with MedlinePlus, from the National Library of Medicine. Every site linked there has been vetted by a reliable professional.

Editor Flahiff’s note: You also cannot go wrong with these resources (via a Consumer Health Library Guide

Dietary Supplements Labels Database

Information about ingredients in more than three thousand selected brands of dietary supplements. It enables users to determine what ingredients are in specific brands and to compare ingredients in different brands. Information is also provided on the health benefits claimed by manufacturers. These claims by manufacturers have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Check out the Help section for tips on how to browse and search this site.

Drug Digest

This noncommercial consumer health and drug information site provides information about drugs and treatment options to be discussed with your primary health care provider or a pharmacist.  Information about over 1,500 drugs as well as common herbs and supplements. The check interactions tab (potential interactions between drugs)  and conditions/treatments area provide easy-to-read overviews. Information provided by Drawing pharmacy experts, licensed doctors of pharmacy, and physicians. From ExpressScripts.

Drugs and Supplements (sponsored by the Mayo Clinic)

Somewhat lengthy drug and over-the-counter medicationinformation with these sections: description, before using, proper use, precautions and side effects. From Micromedex, a trusted source of healthcare information for health professionals. 

Herb and supplement information includes information on uses based on scientific evidence as well as safety and potential interactions with drugs, herbs, and supplements. From Natural Standard, an independent group of researchers and clinicians.

Drug Information Portal

A good central source of drug information by the US government (the National Institutes of Health). It links you to information on over 12,000 drugs from trusted consumer drug information sources, the US Food and Drug Information, and LactMed ***(summary of effects on breastfeeding), It also gives any summaries from medical and toxicological articles (however, some whole articles may not be for free on the Internet).

For information on how to obtain medical and scientific articles for free or at low cost, click here
***As of July 2011
The National Library of Medicine Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed)
has added complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) products. CAM
products generally consist of dietary supplements derived from botanicals
(herbals), “nutraceuticals” (natural and synthetic nonherbals, such as
coenzyme Q10), and related products.
http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT

February 16, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Herbs at a Glance: A Quick Guide to Herbal Supplements

 

 

Herbs at a glance: a quick guide to herbal supplements is a 100 page indexed PDF document which gives the basics on the most common herbs in dietary supplements – historical uses, what they are used for now, scientific evidence on effectiveness, and potential side effects.

It is published by the US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCAAM).
The NCAAM Web site includes links to information under titles as

A few related Web sites

and a related news item…

From the December 16, 2010 Health Day news item U.S. Spending Millions to See if Herbs Truly Work

THURSDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) — People have been using herbal supplements for centuries to cure all manner of ills and improve their health. But for all the folk wisdom promoting the use of such plants as St. John’s wort and black cohosh, much about their effect on human health remains unknown.

But the federal government is spending millions of dollars to support research dedicated to separating the wheat from the chaff when it comes to herbal supplements.

“A lot of these products are widely used by the consumer, and we don’t have evidence one way or the other whether they are safe and effective,” said Marguerite Klein, director of the Botanical Research Centers Program at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. “We have a long way to go. It’s a big job.”

In August, the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the Office of Dietary Supplements awarded about $37 million in grants to five interdisciplinary and collaborative dietary supplement centers across the nation. The grants were part of a decade-long initiative that so far has awarded more than $250 million toward research to look into the safety and efficacy of health products made from the stems, seeds, leaves, bark and flowers of plants.

Reliance on botanical supplements faded in the mid-20th century as doctors began to rely more and more on scientifically tested pharmaceutical drugs to treat their patients, said William Obermeyer, vice president of research for ConsumerLab.com, which tests supplement brands for quality.

But today, herbal remedies and supplements are coming back in a big way. People in the United States spent more than $5 billion on herbal and botanical dietary supplements in 2009, up 22 percent from a decade before, according to the American Botanical Council, a nonprofit research and education organization.

The increase has prompted some concern from doctors and health researchers. There are worries regarding the purity and consistency of supplements, which are not regulated as strictly as pharmaceutical drugs.

“One out of four of the dietary supplements we’ve quality-tested over the last 11 years failed,” Obermeyer said. The failure rate increases to 55 percent, he said, when considering botanical products alone.

Some products contain less than the promoted amount of the supplement in question — such as a 400-milligram capsule of echinacea containing just 250 milligrams of the herb. Other products are tainted by pesticides or heavy metals.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned supplement makers on Dec. 15 that any company marketing tainted products could face criminal prosecution. The agency was specifically targeting products to promote weight loss, enhance sexual prowess or aid in body building, which it said were “masquerading as dietary supplements” and in some cases were laced with the same active ingredients as approved drugs or were close copies of those drugs or contained synthetic synthetic steroids that don’t qualify as dietary ingredients.

But even when someone takes a valid herbal supplement, it may not be as effective when taken as a pill or capsule rather than used in the manner of a folk remedy. For example, an herb normally ground into paste as part of a ceremony might lose its effectiveness if prepared using modern manufacturing methods, Obermeyer said.

“You move away from the traditional use out of convenience, and you may not have the same effect,” he said.

Researchers also are concerned that there just isn’t a lot of evidence to support the health benefits said to be gained from herbal supplements. People may be misusing them, which can lead to poor health and potential interactions with prescription drugs.

“Consumers often are taking them without telling their doctor, or taking them in lieu of going to the doctor,” Klein said……

 

 

December 22, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public), Librarian Resources, Medical and Health Research News, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Databases from the US Government

The Pollak Library California State University Fullerton has published a list of Free Databases from the US Government.
This item came via the Yahoo group NetGold, and was published by the owner Librarian David P. Dillard
Here are the the links to free Health and Medicine resources.

[Flahiff’s note: MedlinePlus is a great starting point for consumer level health/medical information. It goes beyond news to give great starting points for information on diseases and conditions. It includes videos (as surgeries), links to directories (as hospital and physician directories), options for email alerts, Twitter, and much more.

Drugs @ FDA is a great source, however, the NLM Drug Information Portal is a more comprehensive resource. This portal includes both consumer level and professional level drug information resources, including Drugs@FDA, MedlinePlus resources, and references from scientific journals as well as toxicology resources.

PubMed is the largest indexer of health/medical articles written by scientists, physicians,and other health care related professionals. Not all of the articles are available for free online. Please click here for suggestions on how to get individual health/medical articles for free or low cost.]

  • PLoS: Public Library of Science
    Full text. PLoS publishes peer-reviewed, open access scientific and medical journals that include original research as well as timely feature articles. All PLoS articles are immediately freely accessible online, are deposited in the free public archive PubMed Central, and can be redistributed and reused according to the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
  • Cancer Literature in PubMed
    Search the Cancer subset in PubMed.
  • Drugs@FDA
    Search by drug name, active ingredient, application number, and more.
  • PillBox Beta

    Aids  in the identification of unknown solid dosage pharmaceuticals using images to identify pills (color, shape, etc) as well as a separate advanced search (imprint, drug manufacture, ingredients, etc)

  • Household Products Database
    Health and safety information on householdproducts.
  • MedlinePlus
    Health news on 800 topics on conditions, diseases, and wellness.
  • National Academies Press
    Full text books on behavioral and social sciences, biology, computers, earth sciences, education, energy, engineering, environmental issues, food and nutrition, health and medicine, industry and labor, math, chemistry, physics, space and aeronautics, transportation, and more.
  • National Library of Medicine: Databases
    Linds to databases and electronic resources from the NIH.
  • NLM Gateway
    From NIH. Accesses Medline, PubMed, Toxline, DART, ClinicalTrials.gov, and other government databases.
  • NLM/NIH Resources
    Links to NLM, NIH and other federal government resources.
  • Nutrient Data Laboratory Database
    The Nutrient Data Laboratory (NDL) has the responsibility to develop USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference,  the foundation of most food and nutrition databases in the US, used in food policy, research and nutrition monitoring.
  • Nutrient Data Laboratory [USDA]
    Search by keywords to retrieve nutrient data.
  • PubMed
    More than 19 million citations to biomedical articles from MedLine and life science journals. Some links to full text.
  • PubMed Central
    Full text  articles from PubMed, the free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literataure.

December 21, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public), Health Statistics, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Herbal Viagra warning & more

From: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/sex/erectiledysfunction.htm

FDAsafetynewsvid

Erectile Dysfunction/Sexual Enhancement

As many as 30 million American men have erectile dysfunction (ED). If you’re one of them and considering a so-called “herbal Viagra,” you should discuss the situation with your health care provider. Conventional treatments are available that may help you. Another important reason to see your health care provider is that ED may be a sign of an underlying health problem that needs to be treated, such as clogged blood vessels or nerve damage from diabetes. Furthermore, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that some products marketed as dietary supplements for male sexual enhancement or ED contain prescription drug ingredients or related substances. These products may interact in dangerous ways with medicines.

Bottom Line: No complementary health approaches have been shown to be safe and effective for sexual enhancement or treating ED. Safety is a serious concern with regard to dietary supplements promoted for ED or sexual enhancement.

Safety: Many supplements promoted for ED and sexual enhancement have been found to be tainted with drug ingredients or related substances. These contaminants may interact with prescription drugs in harmful ways. For example, some of the contaminants in these supplements may interact with drugs that contain nitrates, leading to a dangerous decrease in blood pressure. People with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease often take drugs containing nitrates, and men with these conditions frequently have ED.

Warning signs that a dietary supplement for ED may be tainted with potentially harmful substances include:

  • Claims that the product is a natural alternative to prescription drugs or has effects similar to those of drugs
  • Promises that the product will work very rapidly or that its effects will last for a day or more
  • Personal testimonials about incredible benefits from the product.

For more information on ED, see the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Web site.

November 6, 2015 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety | , , , | Leave a comment

Good news! Efforts To Improve Patient Safety Result in 1.3 Million Fewer Patient Harms [AHRQ report]

From the publication summary at the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

Interim Update on 2013 Annual Hospital-Acquired Condition Rate and Estimates of Cost Savings and Deaths Averted From 2010 to 2013

This document provides preliminary estimates for 2013 on hospital-acquired conditions (HACs), indicating a 17 percent decline, from 145 to 121 HACs per 1,000 discharges, from 2010 to 2013. A cumulative total of 1.3 million fewer HACs were experienced by hospital patients in 2011, 2012, and 2013 relative to the number of HACs that would have occurred if rates had remained steady at the 2010 level. Approximately 50,000 fewer patients died in the hospital as a result of the reduction in HACs, and approximately $12 billion in health care costs were saved from 2010 to 2013.

 

Exhibit 6. Estimated Deaths Averted, by Hospital-Acquired Condition (HAC), 2011-2013

Pie chart shows estimated deaths averted, by Hospital-Acquired Condition: Adverse drug events, 11,540; Catheter-associated urinary tract infections, 4,427; Central line-associated bloodstream infections, 1,998; Falls, 2,750; Obstetric adverse events, 15; Pressure ulcers, 20,272; Surgical site infections, 1,297; Ventilator-associated pneumonias, 1,150; (Post-op) Venous Thromboembolisms, 520; All other HACs, 6,387.

Preliminary 2013 estimates show that the decline in HACs resulted in a preliminary estimate of cost savings of approximately $8 billion in 2013. Estimated cumulative savings for 2011, 2012, and 2013 are approximately $12 billion (Exhibit 7). As was the case for the deaths averted estimates, the majority of cost savings are estimated to result from declines in pressure ulcers and ADEs (Exhibit 8).

 

Two related Mulford Library resoruces

 

As always, do not hesitate to consult a Mulford reference librarian with your research and information needs. Let us same you time and alleviate frustration!

March 7, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

[Press release] Carnegie Mellon, Pitt Ethicists Question Impact of Hospital Advertisi

About 20 years ago I started thinking along similar lines. Now I am at a point questioning if it is ethical to profit from health care. Two years as a Peace Corps volunteer (back in 1980/81 in Liberia, West Africa) changed my views on many topics considerably. Also I think it was the wonderful humanistic/social justice  tone of grade school religious textbooks, notably 8th grade back in 1969.

Summary (from EurkAlert!)
Ethicists question the impact of health information that is available online, specifically hospital advertisements, and argue that while the Internet offers patients valuable data and tools — including hospital quality ratings and professional treatment guidelines – that may help them when facing decisions about where to seek care or whether to undergo a medical procedure, reliable and unbiased information may be hard to identify among the growing number of medical care advertisements online.

From the 30 January 2015 Carnegie Mellon press release

In a commentary piece published in JAMA Internal Medicine, Carnegie Mellon University’s Alex John London and the University of Pittsburgh’s Yael Schenkerquestion the impact of health information that is available online, specifically hospital advertisements. London and Schenker argue that while the Internet offers patients valuable data and tools — including hospital quality ratings and professional treatment guidelines — that may help them when facing decisions about where to seek care or whether to undergo a medical procedure, reliable and unbiased information may be hard to identify among the growing number of medical care advertisements online.

“The marketing objective of selling services by making them seem attractive to consumers can create tensions or outright conflict with the ethical imperative of respect for persons, since the latter requires that patients make medical decisions in light of balanced information about the full range of risks and benefits associated with their care,” said London, professor of philosophy in CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and director of the Center for Ethics and Policy.

Referencing a research article in the same journal issue that found hospital websites failed to disclose risk information for transaortic valve replacement (TAVR), a recently approved procedure to treat patients whose aortic valve does not open fully, London and Schenker pinpoint four risk concerns for patients seeking medical information online:

1. Identifying Advertising — Hospital websites often have the appearance of an education portal, leaving patients to assume that the information presented is informational, not persuasive.

2. Finding Unbiased Information — Unlike FDA-regulated direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription drugs, hospital advertising is overseen by the Federal Trade Commission and subject to the same “reasonable” standards applied to advertisements for common consumer goods such as cars and cereal. While hospital advertisements may describe specific medical interventions that entail significant
risks, there is no legal requirement that these risks be disclosed.

3. Recognizing Incomplete or Imbalanced Information — Poor-quality medical information is hard to recognize unless the person reading it is a trained clinician.

4. Influence on Health Care Decisions — As patients seek out information online, the quality of their decision-making and care choices will be influenced by the accuracy or inaccuracy of the information they are likely to encounter.

To begin to fix the risk to patients seeking medical information online, London and Schenker recommend to clearly label hospital websites as advertisements; allocate resources to created balanced online informational tools; and focus future attention on not only the content of health care advertising but its impact.

For more information, visit http://www.hss.cmu.edu/philosophy/faculty-london.php.

 

Related Resource

  • Evaluating Health Information (Health Resources for All, Edited by JaniceFlahiff)
    • The Penn State Medical Center Library has a great guide to evaluate health information on the Internet.

      The tips include

      • Remember, anyone can publish information on the internet!
      • If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
        If the Web site is primarily about selling a product, the information may be worth checking from another source.
      • Look for who is publishing the information and their education, credentials, and if they are connected with a trusted coporation, university or agency.
      • Check to see how current the information is.
      • Check for accuracy. Does the Web site refer to specific studies or organizations?
    • How to Evaluate Health Information on the Internet (US National Cancer Institute)

January 31, 2015 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Complementary Health Practices for U.S. Military, Veterans, and Families

nccam

 

From the NCCAM Web page

 

Many military personnel and veterans experience chronic pain, a condition that can be debilitating and is often difficult to treat. Post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, depression, and substance use are other conditions that tend to co-occur in these same service members and are also challenging to treat. Opioid medications are often prescribed for chronic pain conditions, but use and misuse of opioids resulting in hospitalizations and death has been on the rise. A study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine examined the prevalence of chronic pain and opioid use among U.S. soldiers following deployment. The researchers found that of the more than 2,500 participants surveyed, 44 percent had chronic pain and 15 percent regularly used opioids—rates much higher than the general population.

Many military, veterans, and their families turn to complementary and integrative health approaches such as mindfulness meditation and other practices in an effort to enhance the options for the management of pain and associated problems. This page provides resources and information on health conditions of special concern to military, veterans, and their families and the complementary and integrative health practices being studied for this population.

October 17, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

New Resource from the NLM: Subject Guides (Health Statistics, Library Statistics, Conference Proceedings)

New Resource from the NLM: Subject Guides

The NLM Reference and Web Services Section, Public Services Division, compiled a select set of subject guides. These guides can serve as research starting points for health professionals, researchers, librarians, students, and others. Each guide lists a variety of resources, many of which are Internet accessible and free. These subject guides consist of many resources but should not be considered completely comprehensive.

Released guides cover Health Statistics, Library Statistics, and Conference Proceedings. Two additional guides will be available in late fall covering Drug Information and Genetics/Genomics.

The topics for these Subject Guides are drawn from the most frequently asked questions the Reference and Web Services staff encounters in e-mails and onsite. The staff plans to update the guides, reviewing them as needed to maintain their links and content. We hope you find the Subject Guides useful, and we welcome your comments or suggestions.

From the NLM Site

  • Health Statistics (Listed here, just some of the information at the site)
    • Scope –
      • The Health Statistics and Numerical Data subject guide includes some of the major sources of health and general statistics in the United States and a brief list of international resources.
      • Selected Resources sections consist of a small number of resources chosen from the great number available. Resources include print and online publications, databases, datasets, online tools, and Websites. The majority are from U.S. Government agencies.
    • Websites and Portals
    • General selected resources
    • Specific health conditions and concerns
    • Special populations

September 30, 2013 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, health AND statistics, Health Statistics, Librarian Resources | , | Leave a comment

Medical Cases in literature : an open database

Reblog from the 12 December 2012 posting at  Science Intelligence and InfoPros

Open access (OA) publisher BioMed Central has launched a new semantically-enriched search tool, Cases Database, which aims to enhance the discovery, filtering and aggregation of medical case reports from many journals. OA to journal articles published under Creative Commons licences, which permit text mining, enable the literature to be reused as a resource for scientific discovery

More than 11,000 cases from 100 different journals are reportedly available to be freely searched with Cases Database.

Cases Database uses text mining and medical term recognition to filter peer reviewed medical case reports and provide a semantically enriched search experience. The database offers structured search and filtering by condition, symptom, intervention, pathogen, patient demographic and many other data fields, allowing fast identification of relevant case reports to support clinical practice and research. Registered users can save cases, set up e-mail alerts tonew cases matching their search terms, and export their results. Cases Database will be free to access and is expected to be of particular interest to practicing clinicians, researchers, lecturers, drug regulators, patients, students and authors.

Announcement:

http://blogs.biomedcentral.com/bmcblog/2012/12/10/embrace-information-overload-with-cases-database/

 

http://www.casesdatabase.com/

 

December 13, 2012 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Educational Resources (Health Professionals) | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Health Resources in Multiple Languages

Those of you who follow my blog notice that from time to time I highlight multilingual health information Web sites as Healthy Roads Media.

Recently (via a US govt listserv- PHPartners) I ‘ve come across a wonderful list of general health information resources in multiple languages. This resource list is a subset of the larger  Multi-Cultural Resources for Health Information. Multi-Cultural Resources includes links in the following areas

Oh, I haven’t forgotten. Here is the list of Health Resources in Multiple Languages.

 

 

October 27, 2012 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Health Education (General Public), Librarian Resources, Tutorials/Finding aids | , , , , | Leave a comment

Misuse of over-the-counter pain medication is potential health threat

A few years back a relative told me he was taking a daily acetaminophen instead of aspirin to reduce heart attacks.
Needless to say I was a bit taken aback he didn’t know that aspirin and acetaminophen were two completely different drugs.
Not only does acetaminophen not act to reduce heart attacks, but over time it has the potential for serious adverse effects as liver and kidney damage.  He switched to aspirin when I showed him the article link in the previous sentence.

And, yes, I did also tell him to also consult with a doctor about his daily acetaminophen use.

Paracetamol/acetaminophen pills, 500 mg.

Paracetamol/acetaminophen pills, 500 mg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the 31 May 2012 EurkAlert

Study uncovers the extent of OTC acetaminophen overdose risk

A significant number of adults are at risk of unintentionally overdosing on over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication, according to a new study in the US by Dr. Michael Wolf, from Northwestern University in Chicago, and his colleagues. Their work¹, looking at the prevalence and potential misuse of pain medication containing the active ingredient acetaminophen as well as the likelihood of overdosing, appears online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine², published by Springer.

Many adults in the US regularly use OTC pain medication containing the active ingredient acetaminophen, the most commonly used OTC pain medication in the US. They take it either on its own or in combination with other drugs, which may also contain acetaminophen. The ease of access to OTC drugs presents a challenge to patient safety as many individuals may lack the necessary health literacy skills to self-administer these medicines appropriately. Indeed, individuals make independent decisions that match an OTC product to a self-diagnosed symptom or condition. Worryingly, acetaminophen overdose is the leading cause of acute liver failure…

Wolf and team found that nearly a quarter of the participants were at risk of overdosing on pain medication using a single OTC acetaminophen product, by exceeding the dose of four grams in a 24-hour period; 5 percent made serious errors by dosing out more than six grams. In addition, nearly half were at risk of overdosing by ‘double-dipping’ with two acetaminophen containing products…

Related Websites

May 31, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Safety | , , | Leave a comment

New Federal Policy Initiatives To Boost Health Literacy Can Help The Nation Move Beyond The Cycle Of Costly ‘Crisis Care’ [With Related Resources]

Health literacy used to be thought of as a problem individuals had in understanding health information and making health decisions. Now health literacy is beginning to be viewed in more holistic terms. For example, health care providers (from nurses to institutions) now view themselves as having roles in providing relevant understandable information to patients and the public.
What brought about this change in focus? According to the article below, major health policy initiatives at the federal level, including the “Plain Writing Act of 2010, which requires all new publications, forms, and publicly distributed documents from the federal government to be written in a “clear, concise, well-organized” manner.”

A good summary of this change in direction and focus may be found within the article…
New Federal Policy Initiatives To Boost Health Literacy Can Help The Nation Move Beyond The Cycle Of Costly ‘Crisis Care’

Here is an abstract of the article (in the journal Health Affairs, January 12, 2012)

Health literacy is the capacity to understand basic health information and make appropriate health decisions. Tens of millions of Americans have limited health literacy—a fact that poses major challenges for the delivery of high-quality care. Despite its importance, health literacy has until recently been relegated to the sidelines of health care improvement efforts aimed at increasing access, improving quality, and better managing costs. Recent federal policy initiatives, including the Affordable Care Act of 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy, and the Plain Writing Act of 2010, have brought health literacy to a tipping point—that is, poised to make the transition from the margins to the mainstream. If public and private organizations make it a priority to become health literate, the nation’s health literacy can be advanced to the point at which it will play a major role in improving health care and health for all Americans…

In years past, clinicians and researchers alike largely viewed these issues and outcomes in terms of individual patient deficits—that is, a patient’s lack of knowledge and skills regarding health issues. We now recognize that health literacy is a dynamic systems issue,2 reflecting the complexity of both the health information being presented and the health care system being navigated.3 As summarized by the Institute of Medicine, addressing the challenge of health literacy requires system-level changes for both health professionals and organizations…

It is impossible to list all relevant related resources here!
A small sampling..

Health Literacy Library Guides (while aimed at professionals, librarians, etc, some have links to materials for the rest of us)

Great places to start for health information on many topics (diseases, conditions, talking with health care professionals, etc)

(More Great Places here)

  • MedlinePlus – Over 750 topics on conditions, diseases, and wellness.  Information ondrugs, herbs, and supplements. Links to directories (health care providers, health care facilities, etc) and organizations which provider health information. Surgery videos, informative slideshows, and more.
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality – Consumers and Patients
    the latest evidence based information for improving your health, including podcasts and videos
  • Familydoctor.org includes health information for the whole family
    Short generalized information on Diseases and Conditions (with A-Z index), Health Information for Seniors, Men, and Women, Healthy Living Topics, pages geared to Parents & Kids, and videos.  Numerous health tools in the left column (as health trackers, health assessments, and a Search by Symptom page.

  • KidsHealth provides information about health, behavior, and development from before birth through the teen years. Material is written by doctors in understandable language at three levels: parents, kids, and teens
    KidsHealth also provides families with perspective, advice, and comfort about a wide range of physical, emotional, and behavioral issues that affect children and teens.

Understanding Health Research

  • “Summaries for Patients”  are short summaries of studies and clinical guidelines (how medicine is best practiced) are  published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
    [Go to Summaries for Patients, scroll down a little, the right column has  link to all summaries and a search box ]Summaries about studies describe how researchers did the published study and what they found.
    Summaries about clinical guidelines describe the official recommendations for patient care
  • patientINFORM plain language summary Web sites are provided by participating publishers to help patients or their caregivers more fully understand the implications of research and to provide links to the full text of research articles they’ve selected from participating journals. The publishers allow readers following links from patientINFORM material on the health organizations’ sites to access the full text of these articles without a subscription, and they provide patients and caregivers with free or reduced-fee access to other articles in participating journals.
  • Cochrane Collaboration provides systematic reviews (thorough summaries) of the strongest evidence available about healthcare interventions (as drugs and medical procedures).  It does not cover all interventions, but those covered were reviewed  in-depth by experts in the medical and library fields.
    • Here is how to find plain language  and audio summaries of Cochrane reviewsGo to the Cochrane Collaboration home page and scroll down to Browse Free Summaries.
      Topics include Breast Cancer, Dementia and Cognitive Improvement, and Complementary Medicine.
      Click on To the Cochrane Library in the upper right corner of the Cochrance Collaboration home page.
      This Cochrane Library search page has a Help page , and an Advanced Search option.
  • HealthNewsReview.org – Independent Expert Reviews of News Stories
    The site is dedicated to

    • Improving the accuracy of news stories about medical treatments, tests, products and procedures.
    • Helping consumers evaluate the evidence for and against new ideas in health care.

Health News Review includes

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Show Off Your Apps” Winners of the NLM software development challenge

From the NLM (National Library of Medicine) Web page

Show Off Your Apps Winners And Honorable Mentions

 

175th Anniversary Video ContestThe National Library of Medicine (NLM), wishes to congratulate the five winning entries in the Library’s software development challenge, “Show off Your Apps: Innovative Uses of NLM Information.” In addition, we thank all Entrants for participating in the Library’s first software development challenge!

 

Winners

 

GLAD4U

GLAD4U (Gene List Automatically Derived For You) is a new, free web-based gene retrieval and prioritization tool, which takes advantage of the NCBI’s Entrez Programming Utilities (E-utilities). Upon the submission of a query, GLAD4U retrieves the corresponding publications with eSearch before using Pubmed ID-Entrez Gene ID mapping tables provided by the NCBI to create a list of genes. A statistics-based prioritization algorithm ranks those genes into a list that is output to the user, usually within less than a minute. The GLAD4U user interface accepts any valid queries for PubMed, and its output page displays the ranked gene list and information associated with each gene, chronologically-ordered supporting publications, along with a summary of the run and links for file exports and for further functional enrichment analyses.

 

iAnatomy

Learning anatomy interactively with a touchscreen device is  dynamic and engaging. Having it as an app, makes the information available anywhere, anytime. iAnatomy is an exciting electronic anatomy atlas for iPhone/iPod touch. The images are interactive and zoomable. If a label is touched, the name of the structure is shown.  Images span from the face to the pelvis. The face and neck images and the female pelvis images are reconstructed from data from the National Library of Medicine’s Visible Human Project. iAnatomy is designed to stand on its own and does not require an ongoing internet connection. Learning is reinforced with multiple quiz modes. Latin medical terminology is also included as an option for international use.

 

KNALIJ

The KNALIJ web application addresses the challenges and opportunities posed by ‘big data’ with a new generation of information visualization tools. It offers researchers, students and health consumers alike a technology platform with capabilities to rapidly discover and gain insights from the copious amounts of information being made available from the National Libraries of Medicine (NLM), through its data repositories such as PubMed. KNALIJ recognizes the ‘connections’ linking bio-medical and life sciences research and researchers around the world, and visualizes those linkages. This makes them clear, intuitive, and even playful by providing interactive ‘information communities’ for exploration, analysis, and education.

 

NLMplus

NLMplus is an innovative semantic search and discovery application developed by WebLib LLC, a small business in Maryland. NLMplus provides enhanced access to the vast collection of health and biomedical information and services made available by the world’s largest medical library, the National Library of Medicine (NLM).

 

Quertle

Quertle is an innovative website for searching and investigating the biomedical literature. Quertle uses advanced linguistic methods to find the most relevant documents instead of traditional keyword searching, which often returns an overwhelming list of uninformative articles. Quertle is geared to active life science professionals – both researchers and health care providers – and saves them considerable time and effort in finding the literature they need.  Quertle, available on the web using any browser, simultaneously searches multiple sources of life science literature, including MEDLINE.

 

Honorable Mentions

 

BioDigital Human Platform

The BioDigital Human Platform simplifies the understanding of health topics by visualizing anatomy, conditions and treatments. Similar to how geo-browsers such as Google Earth serve as the basis for thousands of location based applications, the BioDigital Human Platform will open up entirely new ways to augment healthcare applications. From the visual representation of concepts found on health portals, to step-by-step virtual guidance for surgical planning, to EHR integration so patients can finally understand their diagnosis, the BioDigital Human Platform will meet the learning demands of 21st century medicine.

 

DailyMedPlus

DailyMedPlus is an online application providing integrated access to pharmaceutical information available from various databases provided by the National Library of Medicine (NLM).  DailyMedPlus offers a high-performance unified search engine providing ranked, highlighted and full-text search results for patients and healthcare professionals who seek updated prescribing information.  As the only product of its kind, the application supports searching NLM databases for pharmaceutical products using trade and generic names, medical conditions, indications, contra-indications, side-effects, and also allows for the searching of these products by their physical characteristics (“red round”), providing image results in an in line intuitive layout.  Users benefit from comprehensive search results of more than 90,000 products displayed in over 26,000 organized and digitally curated monographs designed for browsing on a wide variety of desktop and mobile platforms.

 

Drug Diary

Drug Diary is an iOS (iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad) application that allows users to quickly build an inventory of prescribed and OTC medications they are currently taking or have taken in the past along with information on the associated prescribers and pharmacies.  From there, they are able to take notes outlining their experiences with these medications and generate reports to share with care providers.  Data entry is made quick and easy through the use of a locally cached copy of the NLM’s RxTerms dataset and intelligent data entry screens that require little to no typing.  The app leverages the data present in RxTerms to allow one tap access to another NLM source, MedLine Plus, which is a web portal that provides detailed information on the medications in the user’s library.

 

Molecules

Molecules is a 3-D molecular modeling application for Apple’s iOS devices, including the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.  It pushes the limits of mobile graphics processors by using advanced techniques to make realistic renderings of molecular models.  A touch-based interface allows for intuitive manipulation of these structures, so that they can be viewed from any angle and at any scale. While originally designed for researchers to view and present biomolecule structures on the go, the most popular use of Molecules has proven to be in education.  Chemistry teachers are using this application to explain common molecular structures to their students, and biology professors are demonstrating the form and function of biomolecules.  Many students already have iOS devices of their own, so they are able to make the lesson more personal by following along on their own iPhone or iPad.  The popularity of this approach is seen in the over 1.7 million downloads of this application to date.

 

ORKOV

Orkov is a Greek term for Hippocratic Oath that medical professionals, especially, physicians take all over the world. Orkov, an iPhone App for iOS 5 platform as well as for Android OS is a productivity smart phone application for hundreds of thousands of medical researchers who are the end users of PubMed.gov data all over the world.  Orkov empowers many researchers to search and browse research abstracts and full text research articles from the repository of PubMed.gov’s over 5,000+ research journals.  Orkov utilizes publicly available web service interface of PubMed.gov.  Majority of the features of PubMed.gov are wrapped into a powerful iPhone/Andorid App that is easy to use and navigate.

November 2, 2011 Posted by | Educational Resources (Health Professionals), Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NIH Launches Web Resource on Complementary and Alternative Medicine

N C C A M: The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

From the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) press release

A new online resource, designed to give health care providers easy access to evidence-based information on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), was unveiled today by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) of the National Institutes of Health.

With this new resource, providers will have the tools necessary to learn about the various CAM practices and products and be better able to discuss the safety and effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicine with their patients….

NCCAM developed a resource that provides reliable, objective, and evidenced-based information on CAM, including:

Americans annually spend nearly $34 billion out-of-pocket on CAM products and practices. Surveys show that nearly 40 percent of American adults and 12 percent of American children use some form of CAM. Other surveys show that patients do not regularly discuss these practices with their health care providers. In fact, a recent study of Americans aged 50 and older found that overall two-thirds of respondents had not discussed CAM with their health care provider.

“NCCAM is charged to study and provide evidence-based information on the safety and efficacy of CAM health practices that are readily available and already used by a great number of people,” said Josephine P. Briggs, M.D., director of NCCAM. “As a physician, I understand the need to have easily accessible and accurate information on all health practices. This Web resource is a way for NCCAM to share this valuable information with all providers.”

To use this resource, please visit nccam.nih.gov/health/providers/.

Doctor at hospital speaking to patient in wheelchairNCCAM’s Time to Talk campaign encourages patients to tell their providers about CAM use and providers to ask about it by offering tools and resources—such as wallet cards, posters, and tip sheets—all of which are available for free at nccam.nih.gov/timetotalk/.

The mission of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) interventions and their roles in improving health and health care. For additional information, call NCCAM’s Clearinghouse toll free at 1-888-644-6226, or visit the NCCAM Web site at nccam.nih.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)—The Nation’s Medical Research Agency—includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

Additional Resources
Natural & Alternative Treatments
Contains detailed information on almost 200 different conditions and the conventional and natural treatments used to treat them, over 300 herbs and supplements, plus drug-herb and drug-supplement interactions for more than 90 drug categories.

Drugs and Supplements (sponsored by the Mayo Clinic)

Somewhat lengthy drug and over-the-counter medicationinformation with these sections: description, before using, proper use, precautions and side effects. From Micromedex, a trusted source of healthcare information for health professionals.  

Herb and supplement information includes information on uses based on scientific evidence as well as safety and potential interactions with drugs, herbs, and supplements. From Natural Standard, an independent group of researchers and clinicians


Drugs, Supplements, and Herbal Information (from a MedlinePlus page)

Prescription and over-the-counter medication information contains answers to many general questions including topics as what a drug is used for, precautions, side effects, dietary instructions, and overdoses. From the American Society of Health System Pharmacists

Herb and supplement information includes information on uses based on scientific evidence as well as safety and potential interactions with drugs, herbs, and supplements. From Natural Standard, an independent group of researchers and clinicians.

April 26, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , | Leave a comment

Herbs at a Glance – Sage

Sage

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has published a new Herbs at a Glance fact sheet focusing on Sage.

 

A few herb related Web sites

Information about ingredients in more than three thousand selected brands of dietary supplements. It enables users to determine what ingredients are in specific brands and to compare ingredients in different brands. Information is also provided on the health benefits claimed by manufacturers. These claims by manufacturers have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Check out the Help section for tips on how to browse and search this site.

 

This noncommercial consumer health and drug information site provides information about drugs and treatment options to be discussed with your primary health care provider or a pharmacist.  Information about over 1,500 drugs as well as common herbs and supplements. The check interactions tab (potential interactions between drugs)  and conditions/treatments area provide easy-to-read overviews. Information provided by Drawing pharmacy experts, licensed doctors of pharmacy, and physicians. From ExpressScripts.

Prescription and over-the-counter medication information contains answers to many general questions including topics as what a drug is used for, precautions, side effects, dietary instructions, and overdoses. From the American Society of Health System Pharmacists

Herb and supplement information includes information on uses based on scientific evidence as well as safety and potential interactions with drugs, herbs, and supplements. From Natural Standard, an independent group of researchers and clinicians.

Somewhat lengthy drug and over-the-counter medicationinformation with these sections: description, before using, proper use, precautions and side effects. From Micromedex, a trusted source of healthcare information for health professionals. 

Herb and supplement information includes information on uses based on scientific evidence as well as safety and potential interactions with drugs, herbs, and supplements. From Natural Standard, an independent group of researchers and clinicians.

  • Natural & Alternative Treatments**
    Contains detailed information on almost 200 different conditions and the conventional and natural treatments used to treat them, over 300 herbs and supplements, plus drug-herb and drug-supplement interactions for more than 90 drug categories.


February 9, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , , , , | Leave a comment

Bar Codes Help Reduce Medication Administration Errors

Bar codes used with electronic health records greatly reduce the administrating of the “wrong drugs” which can harm patients.

When bar codes are used with eMAR (electronic medical administration records), it is greatly ensured that the correct medication is administered in the correct dose at the correct time to the correct patient. ” The study is published in the May 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

 This study (press release here) was partially funded by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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AHRQ is the lead federal agency mission in improving the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. Information from AHRQ’s research helps people make more informed decisions and improve the quality of health care services.

Information for Consumers and Patients  includes publications, videos, and podcasts in the following areas:
**Staying Healthy
**Choosing Quality Care
**Getting Safer Care
**Understanding Diseases and Conditions
**Comparing Medical Treatments

Other broad topics include:
**Clinical Information areas as Evidence Based Practice, Technology Assessment, and National Guideline Clearinghouse™
**Quality and Patient Safety areas as Health Information TechnologyNational Quality Measures Clearinghouse™ , and WebM&M: Morbidity & Mortality Rounds.

**Data & Surveys areas as Available Data Sources from AHRQ, and Health Care Costs and Utilization Project.

May 11, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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