Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Pillbox Beta helps one to identify pills (solid medications)


Pillbox Beta: Rapid Identification, Reliable Information

Need help identifying your medications? Pillbox can recognize over-the-counter and prescription pills by their imprint, shape, color, size, and score marks. This web site is under development by the NLM, NIH, and HHS. (Please note that as of press time, Pillbox is up and running but is still being tested in beta format.)
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July 6, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety | , , | Leave a comment

Drugs of Abuse – 2011 Edition

Salvia divinorum drug

Image via Wikipedia

Drugs of Abuse – 2011 Edition (US Drug Enforcement Agency) is designed to “be a reliable resource on the most popularly abused drugs. This publication delivers clear, scientific information about drugs in a factual, straightforward way, combined with scores of precise photographs shot to scale.”
Both legal and illegal substances are included. Familiar drugs include marijuana, heroin, cocaine and barbiturates. A drugs of concern section includes bath salts, DXM, and Salvia Divinorum.
Links are given to federal anti-drug organizations,  other anti-drug organizations, free anti-drug information sites, and youth anti-drug organizations.

June 20, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Public Health | , , | 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

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

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

Locating Health and Medical Information – An Updated Library of Congress Guide

This Science Reference Guide includes information in the following areas

October 6, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health, Health Education (General Public) | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FDA Asking Consumers to Weigh-In on Drug Information

Apologies for this late posting…

From a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) item

Right now, consumers may get as many as three types of written information with prescription medications—a Consumer Medication Information sheet developed by the private sector and voluntarily given to patients; a Patient Package Insert, labeling that’s developed by the drug maker or private vendor; and a Medication Guide, required labeling for some drugs that FDA believes pose a “serious and significant” public health concern.

FDA is proposing that medication information leaflets be streamlined into a single, FDA-approved Patient Medication Information sheet that would be given to the patient the first time a prescription is filled and for subsequent refills.

But before anything happens, FDA is asking consumers for feedback at a Sept. 27-28 hearing at FDA offices in Silver Spring, Md. Complete details about the hearing are posted athttp://www.fda.gov/Drugs/NewsEvents/ucm219716.htm. At the hearing, consumers and organizations will be able to weigh-in on more than a dozen questions related to prescription drug information for consumers, including

  • Should the medication information be given to patients if the medicine has been administered in a health facility?
  • How can the process be monitored to ensure patients are receiving the information?
  • What accommodations are needed for special populations, such as the elderly, vision impaired, low literacy, and limited or non-English proficient?
  • Should there be a process for monitoring distribution of the information?
  • What functions should FDA and drug makers perform?

To learn more about FDA’s effort to streamline prescription drug information, please see theFederal Register notice, which was posted Aug. 27.

Anyone interested in attending the hearing should see details posted athttp://www.fda.gov/Drugs/NewsEvents/ucm219716.htm

For those unable to attend, the meeting can be viewed on the Internet using Adobe Connect Pro from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Webcast participants will not be able to ask questions.

Join the meeting by using the following links:

https://collaboration.fda.gov/p15d109272010/ on September 27

https://collaboration.fda.gov/p15d209272010/ on September 28

If you have never attended an Adobe Connect Pro meeting before, test your

September 26, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , , | Leave a comment

   

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