When it comes to needs inside our hospital, we have expensive professional tools available on our intranet that allow clinicians to check for drug interactions. In preparation for our library’s eventual internet presence, I wanted to see if there was a free, consumer-oriented tool that we might feel okay recommending.
I decided to try out several of them to see what they had to say about Ketorolac and Ibuprofen, a combination that one of our hospital’s PharmDs
I had tried DoubleCheckMD previously, but went back to try it again. I find the look and layout of site aesthetically appealling and I really like how it’ll suggest complete drug names after the user enters the first three letters.
I find it interesting how the report is split into three parts. First it gives the basic answer in English, then more detail in English, then a short statement in what we might call “MedSpeak.” This could perhaps help make the danger understood to a greater number of users.
However: immediately above the information in the screen capture above, DoubleCheckMD says
“Below is a list of your drug combinations that can cause problems. Note that these problems are RARE. In most cases, these drugs are safe to take together.’
That’s a bit confusing, isn’t it? It seems to contradict the content that immediately follows (“This medication combination is not recommended and should be avoided”).
Another minor annoyance is that one must register in order to use this tool and log in the next time one wants to use it.
- PDRHealth Drug Interaction Tool
Having played with DoubleCheckMD first, I found that I missed the convenience of the way DoubleCheckMD auto-completed drug names.
Also, the results seem…I don’t know…less than clear, somehow. For me, they suggest that taking these drugs together might be a bad idea rather than saying clearly that one simply should not do it.
- Express Scripts’ Drug Digest
Huh. Looks like I’m not going to be recommending this one. It failed to see a problem with taking Ketorolac and Ibuprofen together:
- Drugs.com: Drug Interaction Checker
This one has a pleasant auto-complete function and the results seem pretty unambiguous:
- DiscoveryHealth Drug Interaction Checker
I won’t be recommending this one either because of its horrible interface for entering drug names. Rather than searching for a drug or having drug names suggested as you type, you have to select the first letter of the drug’s name, then scroll to the drug you want. Awful, awful interface. The results were okay:
- CVS/Caremark Drug Interactions
I really like the clear, straight-forward wording of the results in this one:
Also, this checker also offers to check for interactions with foods, alcohol and tobacco:
Are there others I should try? Are there particular features of these that you like or dislike? Do you recommend any of these or similar tools to patients? Please leave a comment and let me know!