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Find the Latest Drug Product and Safety Information

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) takes a comprehensive approach to making information on potential drug risks available to the public, says Paul Seligman, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Director of Safety Policy and Communication in FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

When FDA receives information about the safety of a drug or other problems such as medication errors, the agency evaluates how best to communicate this information—depending on how serious and frequent the problem is, and whether evidence shows that the reported problem is actually related to the drug.

"Providing timely information can help health care professionals and patients make better treatment choices," Seligman says. "We encourage consumers to talk with their health care professionals and ask questions about the benefits and risks of the drugs they are taking."

There are many different types of communications that inform the public about the safe use of medicines. So how can you find information about a drug you are taking, whether it's a new warning, an early communication about an ongoing safety review, or other FDA actions?

Here are some of the resources that can help you stay informed.

Index to Drug-Specific Information

This index features an alphabetical listing of drugs that have been the subject of a Public Health Advisory, a Healthcare Professional Information sheet, an Early Communication About an Ongoing Safety Issue, or other important information. www.fda.gov/cder/drug/drugsafety/DrugIndex.htm

Public Health Advisories

These advisories contain important drug safety information and recommendations of actions that can be taken to avoid or minimize harm from a drug. You can access a listing of FDA Public Health Advisories by date at www.fda.gov/cder/news/pubpress.htm

MedWatch Alerts

MedWatch provides timely new safety information on human drugs, medical devices, vaccines and other biologics, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. The alerts contain information that may affect choices and treatment using these products. MedWatch is also a venue for reporting any unexpected side effects (adverse events) of these products. You can sign up to receive MedWatch safety alerts by e-mail. www.fda.gov/medwatch/


Developed with the National Library of Medicine, DailyMed is a Web site that gives physicians and patients electronic access to FDA-approved drug labels. http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov


This resource allows you to search for information about FDA approved brand name and generic drugs and therapeutic biological products. These are proteins derived from living material (such as cells or tissues) used to treat or cure disease. You can search in many ways, including by drug name and active ingredient. www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/drugsatfda/index.cfm

FDA Drug Safety Podcasts

Podcasting is a method of publishing and syndicating audio broadcasts through the Internet. These podcasts provide emerging safety information about drugs in conjunction with the release of Public Health Advisories. www.fda.gov/cder/drug/podcast/default.htm

FDA Drug Safety Newsletter

Aimed at health care professionals, this quarterly publication is designed to enhance communication of safety information after a drug is marketed. The newsletter raises awareness of adverse events and stimulates reporting of adverse events. www.fda.gov/cder/dsn/default.htm

FDA Consumer Health Information

FDA offers timely and easy-to-read articles on product approvals, safety warnings, and other health information. Articles cover all FDA-regulated products, including human drugs, drugs and feed for animals, medical devices, vaccines, blood, food, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. To find these articles, visit the Web page at www.fda.gov/consumer/default.htm

You can also sign up to receive notices of new consumer articles at www.fda.gov/consumer/consumerenews.html

Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts

FDA provides information on drug products that have been recalled due to manufacturing problems and/or safety concerns. In addition to information released to the public by a manufacturer using the normal media channels, FDA posts information about these recalled drug products at www.fda.gov/opacom/7alerts.html

You can also sign up to receive e-mail notices of product recalls.

Patient Safety News

This is a televised series for health care professionals, carried on satellite broadcast networks aimed at hospitals and other medical facilities across the country. It features safety information on new drugs, biologics, and medical devices.

For More Information

Protect Your Health
Joint FDA/WebMD resource

Consumer Education: What You Need to Know to Use Medicine Safely

Medicines in My Home

A Guide to Drug Safety Terms at FDA

FDA 101: Medication Errors

Managing Drug Safety Issues
Q and A with Paul Seligman, M.D., M.P.H.

FDA Launches Drug Safety Newsletter

Strengthening Drug Safety

Updated: February 18, 2009

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