Patient Centric App Review Series
App Reviewed: Are My Meds Safe for my Baby? (version 1.0)
Last Updated: August 24, 2011
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, Android
Requires: iPhone, iPad, OS 4.0 or greater
Reviewed on: iPad
Goals of app review:
- Is Are My Meds Safe for my Baby useful for pregnant and breast-feeding mothers?
- Given the risk, can physicians feel comfortable recommending this app to pregnant women?
One of the more difficult concerns when caring for women who are pregnant or lactating, is whether a medication being considered for treatment of a condition is safe for the infant. This app attempts to address that need. It was developed by LVDG SARL, which on exploration of the website, appears to be a subsidiary of ICAR, a group of French physicians and pharmacists.
Opening screen gives the user a few options, an information button, disclaimer, facebook, and email choices for sharing the app, and then the main button for checking medications.
The information screen also gives a quick review of why pregnant and lactating women need to check medication use.
Checking medications is easy, the user utilizes the search line, typing in the name.
The drug is categorized based on the FDA method of classifying medications in pregnancy.
Healthcare goals of app:
Pregnant and lactating women could benefit from an accurate app that evaluates medications based on evidence and informs them regarding the safety of those drugs. This app does that.
Evidence to support goals:
The authors used evidence-based medicine to rate the drugs in the app. The ratings appear to be based on the USA FDA basis of rating drugs in pregnancy.
No direct studies of utilization by pregnant or lactating women of medication safety information and outcomes was found by the reviewer using Pubmed, Google Scholar, and Google and the following search terms: “pregnancy medication utilization” “pregnancy patient utilization of drug safety” “Medication safety in pregnancy”.
- Drugs listed are accurate when spot-checked using FDA classification system on Epocrates
- Very simple user interface
- Links on Facebook from app
- Name of the app is too long
- Unattractive app design
- No recent updates
- French “first”, no English only interface
- Although the app is dual French/English it uses French medication names which are not always the same in English and the English equivalents were not listed
- Common drugs were omitted, i.e. dextromethorphan (same in French or English)
- Website is unattractive
What providers would benefit from app?
- Primary Care Providers
What patient would benefit from app?
- Women considering pregnancy
- Pregnant women
- Lactating women
- Native French speakers
- The app allows women to check medication for safety in pregnancy and while lactating
- Pros-simple to use, based on evidence-based studies of drugs
- Cons-French medications with english equivalents not listed (the most glaring of which was acetaminophen which was not listed, but paracetamol is)
Because the app is French in design and use, English speakers may find it limited in usefulness, despite the fact that all entries are in both languages. Unable to recommend its use for patients or for physicians looking for an medication safety app to recommend to their pregnant or lactating patients.
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.