Web Resources for Prescriptions and Over-the-Counter Medication
Managing medications presents a challenge. There are meal times, unexpected interactions, unpleasant side effects, and any number of different warnings to consider. The online world can be a useful resource to learn more about your medicine and how to take it, especially if the doctor’s instructions are ringing a little too faintly in your ears. But wading through all the misinformation and low quality sites can be a chore. Fortunately, there are professional online resources managed by reputable health organizations, research companies, and news agencies with excellent, easy-to-access web resources. These sites know what they are doing – and that’s giving you key pharmaceutical information, free of charge.
Medical Databases and Encyclopedias
RxList: This is a handy drug list where you can look up a large number of general drugs and diseases to find out more information. While it may not provide in-depth information, it can be a perfect starting place if you don’t know much about your treatments.
MedlinePlus: This is the go-to Internet encyclopedia for drugs and supplements. It functions as a project by the NIH (National Institute of Health) but the site is so complete on its own that you wouldn’t know it. Start with the general search categories if you aren’t sure about names.
Drugs.com: With a bit more detailed information than RxList, Drugs.com is a useful resource to use if you know exactly what you want to learn. It also includes some unique and surprisingly handy tools, like the pill identifier and a drug-based news feed.
University of Maryland Medical Center: This medical encyclopedia benefits from the double advantage of educational professionalism and broad usefulness. Consult for drugs, procedures, surgeries, and more.
Pam Pohly’s Net Guide: Medical Academies & Healthcare Professional Associations: This index is perfect if you want to find an organization or encyclopedia where you can learn more about a specific condition or association. This is especially useful if you struggle with a long-term condition and the treatments it requires.
Resources by Medical Category
Cough & Cold Medicines
Kids and OTC Cough and Cold Medicines: Cough and cold medications are very simple, but this guide is an ideal resource for parents that want to guarantee safety for their kids.
Ask Dr. Sears: Cough and Cold Medication Guide: This short guide provides basic explanations of the different categories of medication, and when to use the right drugs.
Indiana: Antibiotics Use and Resistance Manual: The state of Indiana provides this useful guide on antibiotics, using them, and modern problems with resistant forms of bacteria.
FDA: Consumer Education: Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance: This FDA guide also provides overviews of antibiotic use, benefits, and problems. Dig into articles for a deeper look.
Cleveland Clinic: Corticosteroids: If you are on prescription steroids and want to learn more, visit this concise and clear webpage for information.
American Chronic Pain Association: Resource Guide to Pain Medications and Treatment: Download this guide to learn more about pain medication, how it works, and how to manage your prescription.
Spine Health: Medications for Back and Neck Pain: Back and neck pain are the most common causes that require pain-reliever prescriptions. This 12-page article dives into all types of pain medications and how they work.
Antidepressant.com: While the home page only goes into a cursory examination of medications, this website is worth a deeper look. Follow links to find out more about treatments, depression, and how doctors make medication decisions.
Helpguide: Antidepressants What You Need to Know About Depression Medication: If you are worried about taking antidepressants (a perfectly natural reaction), this resource is an excellent remedy to your anxiety.
Blood Pressure Medications
Heart.org: Blood Pressure Medications: Search through this easy-to-use guide divided into categories of blood pressure medication. Find the one you are taking and browse other medications in the same field.
Consumer Reports: Treating Type 2 Diabetes: This guide provides general information on diabetes drugs along with their cost, effectiveness, and side effects. Comparisons between drugs are also available.
Supplements and Nutrition
USDA: Dietary Supplements: This guide includes definitions, warnings, indexes, and a wide variety of other types of information.
Nutrition.gov: This list goes through herbals, vitamins, health claims, and many other types of supplement categories, providing articles and definitions for each.
Prepare for Your Prescription
Top Ten Reviews: 2012 Prescription Online Comparisons: This short, sweet review ranks the top ten professional online prescription sites and includes detailed information on each.
Eye on Pharmaceuticals
Pharmaceutical Business Review: This journal collects information on pharmaceutical companies, their latest projects, and general pharma industry news, updated regularly.
Harvard Business Review: Pharmaceuticals: This resource starts with industry information and works down to latest company news and strategy.
MedMatrix: Prescription Assistance Resources: This list is a little outdated but still provides access to some of the best medication information sites around the net. Look for the government or healthcare organization sites.
Yahoo!: The Dangers of Using Expired Medication: The title says it all – a brief, informative article on watching out for old prescriptions.
Consumer Reports: Prescription for Trouble: Dig into this report for more information on the dangers of prescription drugs, distinctions between truth and marketing in pharmaceuticals, and wiser medication choices.