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Prescription Drug Information, Medicine, Medication

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SafeMedication.com  Editor's Pick

Site by ASHP (formerly the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists). Ability to search information on specific drugs, and check drug interactions

Drug-Specific Warning and Safety Alert Index (FDA)

Check the patient information sheets on a large number of common drugs - including prescription drugs and over-the-counter. See if there are any Food & Drug Administration (FDA) safety alerts or warnings on the drugs you may be taking

FDA - A to Z Subject Index

A wide scope of links on food and drug topics, from the US Food and Drug Administration

Food and Drug Administration Home Page

The FDA regulates drugs, dietary supplements, medical devices, vaccines, and more. Example of news: drug shortages, new drug approvals, medical device recalls

Generic Equivalents: FDA's Electronic Orange Book (interactive)

Check this site to see if there is a generic equivalent available for a specific prescription drug. It is easy to use, although the information is presented in a somewhat awkward and coded fashion. Constantly updated

Guide to Home Safety for Seniors (pdf)

The Safe Living Guide is an easy to read and practical guide to making one's home safe from injury. Topics include preventing falls in the home (a major problem in the US and Canada), medication safety, and indoor/outdoor checklists, such as examining how you reach your mailbox. Very thoughtful guide by the Public Health Agency of Canada, Division of Aging and Seniors, revised 2011

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans - Learn how they work (Medicare.gov)

Medicare's help line for selecting a prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D) is 1-800-633-4227

Medicines (MedlinePlus)

Topics include drug interactions, medicine and alcohol, side effects, generic drugs, off-label uses, medicine safety and how to avoid medication mistakes

New Drugs, Drug Information at pharmacist.com

Site by the American Pharmacists Association, the largest professional association of pharmacists in the US. Provides detailed information on specific drugs, and a brief quick overview of new drugs. Product withdrawals and recalls also listed at this site. Goes back to 2011

Over-the-Counter Medicines (MedlinePlus)

Read about pain relievers, antihistamines, decongestants, cough medicines, cold meds and more. Find out what adults and children should know about using OTC drugs

Prescription Drug Abuse - Kids  Editor's Pick

Excellent videos and practical advice for parents who want to prevent problems of kids - teenagers and children - misusing prescription drugs. A growing problem addressed by the nonprofit organization Partnership for a Drug-Free America

WorstPills.org - "Do Not Use"

Public Citizen routinely reports on worst drugs that they believe people should not use. While the full list is only available to subscribers, they make some reports on drugs readily accessible free at the site. Consumers may find useful insights to help them assess the value of certain drugs. Tone at this watchdog site may be critical and express occasional outrage

Other Helpful Listings

Duluth-based health system bans pharmaceutical logos January 2008

SMDC Health System, based in Duluth, Minnesota, has voluntarily banned pens, notepads, mouse pads, mugs, calculators, and other paraphernalia that display logos from pharmaceutical companies. Such marketing and promotional items will be eliminated and sent to Cameroon in order to preserve professional integrity in prescribing medications, independent of commercial influence. St. Mary's / Duluth Clinic includes 17 clinics and four hospitals in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Star Tribune article Jan. 18, 2008

Guides on Health Problems involving Illegal Activity

Seventy three (73) guides from the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing designed to reduce the harm caused by specific crime problems. Includes guides related to gangs, bullying, bomb threats, drug dealing, underage drinking, child pornography, prostitution, prescription fraud, acquaintance rape, rave parties, drive by shootings, domestic violence and more

Minnesota: How Much Does It Cost? (word doc)

Short document from the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, 2005, displays average charges (from 2003) for nearly 50 common medical treatments (including endoscopy, ear tubes, hysterectomy, tonsillectomy, having a baby, and some prescription drugs), using Minnesota data. An interesting comparison is the cost for the same problem (e.g. sore throat or ear ache), depending on whether the patient seeks office care, urgent care or ER care. This report adds together charges from both the hospital and the physician - not commonly seen in reports of charges. In a time when price data are so difficult to get, this report earns an Editor's Pick as a starting point. After all, did you know that stepping on a rusty nail could cost over $1000, or that a colonoscopy could be a $2000 question? (And this was BEFORE 15 years of steady price increases!)

Pharmaceutical Companies - Code of Ethics (pdf)

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) updated its voluntary Code on Interactions with Health Professionals, effective in January 2009. The new code eliminates free mugs and pens from drug companies and drug reps, and limits meals; 36 pp.

Warning: Risperdal, Seroquel, Zyprexa & Clozaril (Jan. 2009)

Patients ages 30 to 74 who took atypical antipsychotics such as risperidone (sold as Risperdal), quetiapine (Seroquel), olanzapine (Zyprexa) and clozapine (Clozaril) had significantly higher risk (double) of sudden cardiac death than patients who did not take these medications. Risk of death increased with higher doses of the drugs taken and was similar to the death rate for patients taking typical antipsychotics, including Haldol and Mellaril. Study [Atypical Antipsychotic Drugs and the Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death] published in January 15, 2009 issue of New England Journal of Medicine

Wisconsin Medical Society bans gifts to physicians from health product companies (pdf)

The WI Medical Society adopted a policy that physicians NOT accept gifts of any kind or sort, from health product companies (pharma, medical device, etc.) that provide products doctors might ultimately prescribe to their patients. Banned gifts include food, travel, personal items, office supplies, and payment for online CME participation. Published Oct. 2008

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