pill bottleDrug Information

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has dramatically expanded their offerings of free newsletters/alerts/updates on hundreds of topics [see the list and subscribe to any you like]. They have also instituted several new programs over the past few years, all of which are expertly designed to maximize web technology to experience almost instant response in many pages. The CDC states its mission thus:

CDC's Mission is to collaborate to create the expertise, information, and tools that people and communities need to protect their health – through health promotion, prevention of disease, injury and disability, and preparedness for new health threats.

CDC sites with excellent coverage of drugs & diseases in general include the following:

CDC 24/7 A much abbreviated and more compact main page for the CDC. The name is supposed to emphasize their information being available 24/7 - something shared by virtually every site on the Internet. However, it remains a very useful place to start unless you're quite familiar with the old CDC main site and can find what you need there.

CDC WONDER "Wide-ranging On Line Data for Epidemiologic Research (WONDER) -- is an easy-to-use Internet system that makes the information resources of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) available to public health professionals and the public at large. It provides access to a wide array of public health information." WONDER also provides a single point of access to a wide variety of public health reports and data systems, both local and external, listed here alphabetically. Lastly, logging in is no longer necessary anywhere in the site!

Chronic Disease Indicators (CDI) "is a cross-cutting set of 97 indicators that were developed by consensus and that allows states and territories and large metropolitan areas to uniformly define, collect, and report chronic disease data that are important to public health practice and available for states, territories and large metropolitan areas. CDI are divided into eight categories that represent a wide spectrum of conditions and risk factors as well as social context." These categories include tobacco & alcohol use, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, & arthritis.

Vital Signs "An important new program at CDC is called CDC Vital Signs, launched July 6, 2010. This program is a call to action each month concerning a single, important public health topic." CDC believes that by focusing on a single topic using multiple media devices, the states might better identify these health problems in their area and work towards their improvement. Their main regular publication, a newsletter called Vital Signs, will be released the first Tuesday of every month.
CDC Vital Signs™ – Learn about the latest public health data. Read CDC Vital Signs™…

For Information about Specific, Individual Drugs - the five best sites (in my order of preference) are (click icon):
RxList.com
Drugs.com
FDA Medwatch
WebMD
FDA
1
2
3
4
5

Information on Drug Families
[All links open in a new tab/window.]

Antidepressants, Coming Off - by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK), a very good guide on how to proceed when it's time to stop your antidepressant.

Anxiety Panic Internet resource "the web's first and still best self-help resource for those with anxiety disorders. Panic attacks, phobias, extreme shyness, obsessive-compulsive disorders, etc.

Arthritis Today's Drug Guide nicely organized and executed site, with complete information for the lay public

Atypical Antipsychotics an extraordinarily large, complete comparison table of the six most popular antipsychotic drugs: Abilify, Clozaril, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Risperdal, and Geodon. The table covers chemical characteristics, conditions treated, PK/PD data, side effects, and much more.

Australian Drug Information Network (ADIN)  diverse, refreshingly objective drug info; unique search engine (great)

Australian Drug Policy Website compare this to our DEA web site - it CAN be done in a non-threatening, helpful manner

Benzodiazepines - originally hailed as a safe replacement for barbiturates, benzos' uses have been shown to be diverse and generally safe. The biggest drawback is their addictive properties, which were totally overlooked at first - in fact, denied.

Benzo comparison table from psychresidentonline.com, a very complete comparison chart, focusing mainly on PK/PD data

Benzo.org.uk "is dedicated to sufferers of iatrogenic benzodiazepine tranquillizer addiction. Launched on July 6, 2000, this web site has always been a work in progress consisting of articles, information, expert medical documents, news stories and personal accounts."

Benzodiazepines: How They Work and How to Withdraw (aka The Ashton Manual) by Professor C Heather Ashton, DM, FRCP, one of the world's true benzo experts. This is an excellent, concise resource, which also contains links to other published articles by Prof. Ashton, such as a) Benzodiazepine Withdrawal: Unfinished Story, b) Protracted Withdrawal Syndromes from Benzodiazepines, The Treatment of Benzodiazepine Dependence, and more.

Guidelines for the Rational Use of Benzodiazepines also by Professor Ashton, everything you wanted to know about using benzos safely

Clinical Pharmacology Online written by pharmacists, the primary resource for drug info and medication management for many pharmacies, pharmacists, hospitals, etc. It's so comprehensive that you must see the main page for a list.

Clinical Trials for CRPS Drugs from NIH, this link lists all of the current trails with "CRPS" in their titles. Last time I looked, there were 41 trials, many of which are still recruiting participants.

DailyMed a feature of NIH's National Library of Medicine, "provides health information providers and the public with a standard, comprehensive, up-to-date, look-up and download resource of medication content and labeling as found in medication package inserts."

Dictionary of Pharmaceutical Medicine, A officially called "MediLexicon", this is a truly incredible info source, in addition to its incomparable citations. You can get data on any medical condition, even receive periodic e-mail updates on the disorder(s) of your choice.

Don't Be Tempted to Use Expired Medicines a very concise FDA site explaining why expired medications should not be used, and directs visitors how to dispose of unused, expired medications.

Dr. Bob's Psychopharmacology Tips everything you'd need to know about psychoactive drugs, in basic language

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) yes, it's a stretch in this category, but hope springs eternal - the optimist in me looks forward to the day when "DEA" stands for "Drug Education Administration".  Don't hold your breath.

DrugBank a unique bioinformatics and cheminformatics resource which combines both detailed drug data (chemical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical) with comprehensive drug target (i.e. protein) information.

Drug InfoNet  loads of drug/disease information; esp. strong on current news

Drug Information Association a training and education site for healthcare professionals

Drug Information Resources "This website was developed to assist pharmacy students and pharmacists in finding drug/health informational Drug Policy websites" A fascinating look at NZ's version of our DEA - you'll want to move

Drug Interaction Checker from Medscape comes an excellent utility for checking possible interactions between any number of drugs, including chemicals, herbs, and other sources of xenobiotics that could react with certain prescription drugs.

Drug Prescribing Trends a 10-page report on various trends in prescription drugs, including number of Rx's, costs, etc.

Drug Reform Coordination Network - Drug Policy Library  probably the largest on-line library of drug policy

Drugs.com "a comprehensive and up-to-date information resource for medical professionals and consumers providing a convenient and reliable information on over 24,000 approved prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and natural products."

DrugWatch "a comprehensive Web site database featuring extensive information about thousands of different medications and drugs currently on the market or previously available worldwide."

Duloxetine (Cymbalta®) for the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy and fibromyalgia; duloxetine is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI). It is often prescribed for its pain-relieving properties only.

Electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) a comprehensive source of information about prescription and over-the-counter medications licensed in the UK.

FDA Approved Prescription Drug Information from medLexicon: "Search our FDA approved prescription drug database and learn all about your prescription medications. Drug listings include general information, clinical results, side effects and general advice. "

FDA MedWatch "Safety information and adverse event reporting program (by U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

Foundation for Alcohol & Drug Education
N.Z. site; another "wish we had one" site - excellent, objective data

Healthsquare "information is supplied by the PDR Family Guide to Prescription Drugs, and includes most important fact about this medication, detailed instructions for proper use, side effects, warnings, interactions, dosage, over-dosage."

Healthtouch Online
  large amount of drug information

Herbal Medicines and Anesthesia An excellent, six-page review of the most common herbal remedies and their possible effects on anesthesia. A very important topic, since many patients don't bother telling their doctors about herbal supplements they use, and the interaction of several herbs with certain anesthetics can cause life-threatening complications. [PDF version]

MayoClinic.com "Provides comprehensive information on prescription medications and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals from Micromedex, as well as information on herbs, vitamins and other supplements from Natural Standard."

Medical College of Wisconsin Drug Formulary   excellent, concise link collection dealing with drug information

Medication links to discussions of commonly prescribed meds and their effects

Medication Guides also known as prescription inserts, provide all legally-required information to consumers about the drug. This page links to (pdf) images for most drugs.

MedicineNet "an online, healthcare media publishing company. It provides easy-to-read, in-depth, authoritative medical information for consumers via its robust, user-friendly, interactive website."

Medline Plus provides consumer-oriented information on thousands of prescription and over-the-counter medications using MedMaster, a product of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

Medscape Medscape database contains medications and disease information. Drug Search database combines content from FDA, First DataBank and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Pharmacopeia.  Search can be done by entering the drug or disease.

Mood Stabilizer Comparison Table another large comparison table from psychresidentsonline.com, and includes six drugs. It was last updated in 2008, so a couple of drugs are missing; still, its data are valuable and hard to find in one place like this.

New Drug Review 2011 from U.S. Pharmacist (in the Medscape site), a review of the NCEs (new chemical entities) accepted by the FDA as new drugs during 2011.

NHS NeLM - National electronic Library for Medicines "NeLM is the largest medicines information portal for healthcare professionals in the UK National Health Service (NHS).

New Analgesics on the Horizon   nice, short summary of the major types of new analgesics, from NMDA antagonists to NOS inhibitors

New Zealand Drug Foundation   N.Z.'s DEA, but this one actually provides honest drug information and is trusted by the electorate and physicians. It can be done. 

NSAIDs and Adverse Effects   from Bandolier, a great series of mini-reviews on NSAID use; more balanced than the name implies

NSAID Focus   probably more than you wanted to know about NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal AntiInflammatory Drugs)

Opioids - one of mankind's oldest drug families; their use is a balancing act between their undisputed efficacy against pain, the (mostly) hysteria-driven fears about their ability to addict their users even with careful, medically-supervised use, and the involvement by regulatory agencies in using these drugs.


Opioid Use - Pain Physician in March 2008, the journal Pain Physician dedicated its entire issue to all aspects of opioid use in medicine. Possibly due to the age of the issue, or careful author selection, the articles share a tone of "watch out!" when discussing opioid use; please keep this in mind as you read any paper. Although this general attitude comes and goes, this issue is a good example of even healthcare practitioners being affected by the media frenzy about the topic. The following articles are all from that one issue:

Articles from the journal Pain Physician about Opioid Use for Chronic Pain
Title (& link)
Pgs
Description
20
"It is concluded that, for long-term opioid therapy of 6 months or longer in managing chronic non-cancer pain, with improvement in function and reduction in pain, there is weak evidence for morphine and transdermal fentanyl."
58
"long-term effectiveness of 6 months or longer is variable with evidence ranging from moderate for transdermal fentanyl and sustained-release morphine with a Level II-2, to limited for oxycodone with a Level II-3, and indeterminate for hydrocodone and methadone with a Level III."
16
self-explanatory - extremely good summary.
22
"This review looks at the structure, chemistry, and metabolism of opioids in an effort to better understand the side effects, drug interactions, and the individual responses of patients receiving opioids for the treatment of intractable pain."
4
an excellent editorial summarizing the hysteria surrounding opioid use. The last sentence is: "It is hoped that increasing knowledge regarding opioids and their use may lead to a decrease in angst surrounding their prescription as well as more appropriate prescribing practices and associated documentation."
12
the special considerations in opioids which exert their effects in the periphery of the body
26
"A Ten-Year Perspective on the Complexities and Complications of the Escalating Use, Abuse, and Nonmedical Use of Opioids"

Deciphering the Role of Endogenous Opioids in high-frequency TENS this very technical paper describes experiments which indicate that endorphin release is probably how high-frequency (but not low-frequency) TENS units work.

Opioid Antagonists Naloxone and Naltrexone - Aids for Pain Management a superb 16-page summary of how opioid antagonists (blockers) are used in pain management.

Opioid Antagonists in Pain Management the 11-page cover story for the April 2009 issue of Practical Pain Management, a hands-on journal for practitioners.

Opioids in Chronic Nonmalignant Pain   short newsletter summarizing current thinking about why non-malignant pain should hurt any less than malignant pain

Opioids, Pain Management, and Addiction an excellent synopsis of current thinking about opioids in chronic pain, by Jennifer P. Schneider, M.D., Ph.D.

Oxford League Table of Analgesic Efficacy  beautiful table of 50 analgesics/admin. routes - it's even well-documented!

Oxford League Table of Analgesics in Acute Pain  excellent comparison tables of most analgesics used for acute pain

Pharmaceutical Information Network Home Page  PharmInfoNet features up-to-date, free and accurate drug information

PharmWeb huge, on-line community of healthcare professionals with patient info, virtual library, provider directory, etc.; a thorough site with valuable info and links.

PhRMA Foundation
 The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association

Pregabalin in neuropathic pain - 2010 update a very focused & thorough review of the use of pregabalin (Lyrica® ) in treating long-term chronic pain.

Prescription Drug Information - The People's Medicine Community "It is hard to believe that more than 6 years have passed since PrescriptionDrug-Info.com was first created. In that time we have greatly evolved based on the community's needs ... Driven by our goal to offer a useful, free, and private service to everyone."

ReutersHealth The premier supplier of health and medical news on the Internet.

Rx List   - Best all around drug info site around! should be the first place to look for info on a specific drug.

Safemedications.com "provides consumer-oriented searchable database (MedMaster™). The information in this database is based on ASHP's Medication Teaching Manual: The Guide to Patient Drug Information, used in patient-education programs conducted by health-care professionals.

Some Medications and Driving Don't Mix an FDA site that details and lists the various drugs that can impair one's ability to drive.

Understanding Clinical Trials  very good explanation of the ins and outs of clinical trials

U.S. Pharmacist very nice online journals, free

WebMD "provides comprehensive patient-oriented information on prescription and over-the-counter medications. The information includes drug class, indications, dosing, overdose, interactions, warnings, precautions, side effects." This is truly one of the best, especially in the opinions of lots of physicians.