Saturday, November 08, 2008

Over-the-Counter Medication Safety

This is a link that is new to me: http://otcsafety.org/. I'm still exploring it, but so far find it to be a well-planned, user-friendly site that is provided by the:

CHPA Educational Foundation
"The CHPA Educational Foundation is the nonprofit foundation of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), and is dedicated to providing education on the appropriate and safe use of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and nutritional supplements."

The highlights of the OTC safety site include specific advice for parents, seniors, health care providers, and pregnant/nursing mothers.

Several Publications are available to order (but most can be downloaded). Check out "My Medicines" to download a PDF file pre-printed, fill-in-the-blank card to list current medications and supplements. (Most of my recent patients might use a couple of these, because the card "only" provides 13 spaces for current medications.) This is not the kind of PDF that allows you to directly type your med list to save on your computer and revise--that would make this an even better tool. BUT the flip side of the card lists important teaching points for the patient and a toll-free-number for the FDA and internet address for the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research site and the Consumer Health Education Center web-address--which turns out to link you right back to otc.safety.org!

There are a lot of new issues regarding medicating children for cough and colds. Keeping track can be confusing for parents (as well as some healthcare providers.) This site seems to be a good portal for over-the-counter medications across the age spectrum.

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