What to Do When Nearly All of Online Health Information is Wrong

If you’re a current health professional – a nurse, pharmacist or physician – who cares for patients, you’re aware of the new physician in town: Dr. Google. The ability to access the internet has grown tremendously in the 21st century to the point where almost everyone living in developed countries own or have access to a phone or computer and most people use the internet to look for online health information (OHI).

Although on the surface this might seem like a good thing, we professionals often see the drawbacks of this progression. If those drawbacks lead to negative health outcomes you obviously can’t sue Dr.Google for malpractice. As we’ll see in this article, internet users should be aware of the real risks associated with online health information (OHI) and therefore should take specific precautions when searching the web for any health related issue.

Who’s searching internet for OHI and what are they looking for?

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Recently in Medication Safety – 24/02/15

Recently in Medication Safety – 24/02/15

Multiple Antihypertensives and Mortality in Nursing Home Residents

  • Benetos A, Labat C, Rossignol P, et al. Treatment with multiple blood pressure medications, achieved blood pressure, and mortality in older nursing home residents: The PARTAGE study. JAMA Intern Med 2015; DOI:10.1001/JAMAINTERNMED.2014.8012. Abstract

Long-Acting Opiods and Unintentional Overdoses

  • Miller M, Barber CW, Leatherman S, et al. Prescription Opioid Duration of Action and the Risk of Unintentional Overdose Among Patients Receiving Opioid Therapy. JAMA Intern Med. Published online February 16, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8071 : http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2110997

Risks of CYP3A4 Interactions of Statins in Older Adults

  • Daniel Q. Li, BSc, Richard Kim, MD, Eric McArthur, MSc, Risk of adverse events among older adults following co-prescription of clarithromycin and statins not metabolized by cytochrome P450 3A4, CMAJ February 17, 2015vol. 187 no. 3 174-180 : http://www.cmaj.ca/content/187/3/174.full

Meta-Analysis of Epidemiological trials on Hormone Therapy and Ovarian Cancer Risk

NSAIDs Up Bleeding/CV Risks in Post-MI Patients Treated With Antithrombotic

  • Olsen AM, Gisalason GH, McGettigan P, et al. Association of NSAID use with risk of bleeding and cardiovascular events in patients receiving antithrombotic therapy after myocardial infarction. JAMA 2015; 313:805-814.

Food for Thought (Reading List)

Vaccine-Preventable Diseases: In the last few weeks, vaccines have been in the news because of international outbreaks of measles. Also, a hugely controversial Toronto Star report on Gardasil (HPV vaccine) has been heavily criticized by many health professionals on social media where many have called for a retraction.


Gardasil (HPV vaccine)

Other News

Recently in Medication Safety – 12/02/15

Bactrim and Spironolactone Interaction

Medication-related Emergency Visits In Pediatrics

Strong Anticholinergics and Dementia

PPI-Clopidogrel Interaction

  • C Melloni, JB Washam, WS Jones et al, Conflicting Results Between Randomized Trials and Observational Studies on the Impact of Proton Pump Inhibitors on Cardiovascular Events When Coadministered With Dual Antiplatelet Therapy: Systematic Review Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2015;8:47-55 : http://circoutcomes.ahajournals.org/content/8/1/47.abstract

Underutilization of High-Intensity Statin Therapy After Hospitalization

Tramadol and Hypoglycemia