Web Service Allows Patients To See How Drugs Work

September 2017

General Practitioners

Country of origin: USA

iGuard.org, a free, patient-driven on-line health care community, has launched an innovative new patient empowerment tool. iGuard.org now lets users see real time reports of side effects experienced by iGuard.org members who have completed a brief survey on their medication experience.

iGuard.org monitors how different drugs are working across its network of users by conducting random surveys on an on-going basis. Members of the community can easily access pooled, anonymous information on side-effects, safety and effectiveness so they know what to expect when starting a new treatment.

"iGuard.org was created for patients to share information in a simple, structured way. No other site out there has a balanced information exchange that 'demystifies' the process, can give our users a level of comfort and arm them with the information they need to get informed and stay informed about their health care", stated Dr Hugo Stephenson, founder and creator of iGuard.org with a speciality in epidemiology and drug safety. "Since inception, the FDA has given us feedback and direction on how to improve our value to those patients. The release of this new data arms our patients with far more information than they've ever had before."

If patients want to learn about treatment options for their diagnosis, they can see at a glance the average effectiveness and satisfaction scores, the likelihood of side effects, and what additional information others wish they were told before starting the medication. According to feedback of iGuard.org patients taking a common pain medication to treat shingles and fibromyalgia, 70 percent experience side effects, including drowsiness, weight gain, grogginess and dizziness, and 45 percent wish they were told more about the potential side effects before starting the medicine. And among users of a new smoking cessation medication, 69 percent say they experience side effects, especially nausea and vivid dreams, and 28 percent wish they were told more about the potential side effects and potential drug interactions, prior to taking the medicine. Most doctors don't have this type of information readily available for their patients.

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