National Institutes of Health offers medical app for lactating mothers

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Purpose of App Review

  • Does the NIH mobile resource on lactation information really help breastfeeding mothers understand their drug intake effects on infants?

Introduction

LactMed is an app developed and maintained by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and offers dependable information for lactating mothers.

The app contains evidence-based references on how certain drugs taken by a woman present themselves in breast milk, and how these drugs may affect or impact an infant’s well-being.

The mobile app is also available online via TOXNET.

It also contains suggestions to alternative drugs and drug classes for mothers to make more informed decisions about their medication intake while breastfeeding. Along with recommended drugs and supplements, LactMed provides information about safe maternal and infant drug levels as well.

User Interface

To help users navigate the resource, LactMed offers two simple access points from the app homescreen:

  1. Drug Name Search
  2. Drug Class Search

Searching by drug name contains an alphabetical list to choose from to either scroll or manually enter a medication name. Both options work well and the interface is intuitive for users of any comfort level. This option should be used when users know the exact name of a drug/supplement they are taking or considering taking.

The drug class search option is equipped with the same functionality as the drug name search, but it displays the information a bit more generally. Searching for a drug class should be utilized if users are unsure of a specific name of a medication/supplement, but are aware of the type of drug it falls under (e.g. narcotics, analgesics, anesthetics, anti-infective agents, etc.).

From any screen within LactMed, users can get to a General Info section. This section details where the data in the app is coming from as well as information on the NIH and TOXNET. Also, the app contains interoperable navigating between search functions by easily allowing users the option to switch from drug name search to drug class search, and vice versa. The design of information and sections in a LactMed drug record is superbly done and understandable. Users shouldn’t have a problem finding effects information and linking out to PubMed articles to read more.

drug name

drug info

summary

drug class

narcotics

Price

  • Free

Likes

  • Interchangeable search options from any screen/page within the app
  • Reputable source of information and developer: the NIH and TOXNET
  • Evidence-based references to support the information found under each drug record
  • The plain language details regarding effects information for lay people

Dislikes

  • None to report

Conclusion

  • LactMed offers easy to read and easy to access information for breastfeeding mothers on the effects that their medication/supplement intake might have on infants.
  • The NIH does a nice job of organizing a great deal of information in one accessible and contained interface. Infant drug levels, effects on lactation, alternative drug information, and evidence-based references are all available in LactMed.

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • Yes

Google Play Link

Rating: (1 to 5 stars) – 4.75

  1. User Interface – 5
  2. Multimedia usage – 4
  3. Price – 5
  4. Real world applicability – 5

Phone used for review: Samsung Fascinate (Galaxy S phone)

Disclaimer:
This post does not establish, nor is it intended to establish, a patient physician relationship with anyone. It does not substitute for professional advice, and does not substitute for an in-person evaluation with your health care provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or health care provider as to the apps validity and accuracy as this post is not intended to affirm the validity or accuracy of the apps in question. The app(s) mentioned in this post should not be used without discussing the app first with your health care provider.

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