July 21, 2015

By Luna Greenstein

tech-medspic.jpgBefore computers, smart phones and iPads, researching anything on prescription drugs was much more difficult. You would have to use the Physicians Reference Desk (PRD) Guide for prescription drugs to look up information about different medications, use a calendar to keep track of the days and keep a medication list on hand in case of an emergency.

With today’s technology, you can now simply go on the Internet in order to look up drug information, use a mobile app to keep track of your medications and have your important information on file. Having this technology available makes taking medications more convenient, but it is important to keep in mind the potential dangers of the Internet and mobile apps.

How to Know Which Websites to Trust?

The main problem with using the Internet as a means of researching medications is being aware of which websites to trust since so many of them have inaccurate or outdated information. Experts, Karen Moeller, Pharm D, BCPP and

Brantley Underwood, Pharm D, MBA, have composed a list of websites that they recommend when looking for information on prescription drugs:

  1. MEDLINE Plus
  2. WebMd Health
  3. PubMed Health
  4. FDA
  5. CDC
  6. Healthfinder
  7. NAMI
  8. Drugs.com

They also recommend avoiding Wikipedia pages for medication information because anyone can update or change the content posted on a wiki page.

NAMI Makes the List

NAMI has a long-standing history of providing up-to-date, accurate and non-biased information on all of the mental health medications. Through a partnership with College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists, NAMI has taken steps to make sure this information is expertly reviewed. The information provided on the Mental Health Medication page is written the NAMI way for families and individuals to be able to easily access and understand.

How to Know Which Mobile Apps to Trust?

Mobile apps may be extremely helpful with sending reminders, keeping track and having ready access to all of your information. It is crucial to make sure that whichever mobile app you are using, you are protecting your privacy. Some apps will sell your personal information in order to turn a profit, so before putting your information into a mobile app, check the privacy policy (HIPAA is the safest). Moeller and Underwood have also made a list of medication apps they recommend:

  1. My Med Schedule
  2. My Meds
  3. Med Simple
  4. Pharmacist apps
  5. Script Your Future

Technology is a great resource to help with research and upkeep of medications, and it is imperative to know the technology you are using is reliable and trustworthy.

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