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Healthline's New Drug Search Tool

Patients and health care providers often search the internet for health information -- for information on medical conditions, on treatments, and on medications. Identifying reliable sources of knowledge is important, but finding good sources is sometimes difficult. Last week, I wrote about one new source of health information: the drug information portal at the National Library of Medicine. This week, I''ll discuss Healthline's new drug search tool.

To recap: the National Library of Medicine's drug information portal provides a wealth of information, but the NLM's website site is aimed primarily at at health care providers. In contrast, Healthline's drug seach tool is directed at consumers.

Three novel services are offered: drug information and comparisons, drug identification, and drug interactions.

Information provided by Healthline includes a description of the drug and typical uses, side effects, and other information, like what to do if you miss a dose. The drug search tool also allows you to compare two similar medications side by side.

The "pill finder" is a novel service offered by the drug search tool. Not sure what that green oval tablet in your medicine cabinet is? By entering the pill color, shape, and any visible markings, you can narrow down the possibilities. (There were 13 results for green oval tablets.)

Lastly, the drug search tool also allows you to determine whether there are any significant drug interactions among medications. A word of caution -- the drug interaction checker may mark interactions as potentially "severe," even if the chance of an interaction may be very low and even if the interacting medications are used together commonly. (As always, if you have any questions, check with your doctor.)
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About the Author


Dr. Schwimmer's blog explores the intersection of medicine, new technologies, and the Internet.