Searching the LactMed Database

Narrator: Searching the LactMed database LactMed is the drugs and lactation database produced by the National Library of Medicine. It has information on many of the drugs and chemicals that breastfeeding mothers may be exposed to. It provides peer-reviewed information from the medical literature and the American Academy of Pediatrics about drug levels in breast milk and infant blood and possible effects in the infant. You can search all the TOXNET databases from the home page and select LactMed from the results or you can choose LactMed from the list of databases to search only LactMed. Enter a single term, multiple terms or phrase that describes your topic of interest. You can enter generic or brand name drugs as well as non-drug terms. In this example, we’ll search for the brand name ‘Advil’. [Sound of typing as the word ‘Advil’ is entered.] LactMed retrieves all the records containing that word ‘Advil’. The results page displays a list of results ranked by how closely they match your search term or phrase. The top result is usually the primary record for the drug you were looking for if you used a specific drug name as your search word. The rest of the results are records that have your search term somewhere within the record. Results are labeled with the generic drug name and might include synonyms such as the brand name. In this case, ‘Ibuprofen’ is the generic drug name and ‘Advil’ is the brand name. Click on this chemical to see the complete LactMed record. For drugs or chemicals, LactMed automatically searches the term you entered, as well as synonyms, trade names, and associated Chemical Abstracts Registry Numbers. Click on Search Details to see terms that were automatically added to your search. Every LactMed record has 3 main sections: The top section contains the navigation buttons. Use these to download or print, select a record, view selected records in My List, navigate within LactMed or see what other databases have information about your topic. The second section is the Table of Contents which lists the specific areas of the chemical record. And the third section, on the right of the screen, shows all the information about a chemical displayed in order of the left side Table of Contents. The ‘Summary of Use during Lactation’ section has the main points of the record and a description of using the drug while breastfeeding. The Ibuprofen summary indicates that it is a preferred choice as a pain reliever in nursing mothers. Read ‘Effects in Breastfed Infants’ for effects the drug may have on the infant, including whether there is any scientific evidence of adverse or harmful effects. The ‘Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk’ section has information on a chemical’s effect on breast milk production or quality and composition. Another useful section is ‘Alternate Drugs to Consider’. It lists similar drugs that may be substitutes for a specific drug. You can also search for topics such as ‘antidepressant’ to bring up a list of medications that are used to treat depression. [Sound of typing as antidepressant is typed] To see your search terms, click Closest Match to Search Terms. Your terms will be in bold and highlighted in yellow. You can download the full record or choose one or more categories. Depending on your browser, the saved data will either appear in the browser or a dialog box will appear. Name the file and save as either a text or html file. Due to the format of LactMed records they cannot be imported into bibliographic management programs such as EndNote or RefWorks. Check out the Support Pages for additional information, including the LactMed app for mobile devices, the LactMed widget which lets you add a LactMed search box to a web page, the glossary of breastfeeding terms, information concerning dietary supplements, and links to resources on breastfeeding that have been selected by professionals at the National Library of Medicine as credible health information resources. LactMed Help answers some of the most common questions you may have. You can reach it from any part of the database by clicking on Help and then choosing Chemical Databases Help Need more help? You can contact us via e-mail or telephone

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