Iodine is a new kind of drug information resource that helps people find what works for them. For both prescription and over-the-counter medicine, Iodine features original drug content written by an expert team of pharmacists, data from the FDA and NIH, and drug reviews collected from over 10,000 Americans. By leveraging a combination of science and real human experiences, Iodine is helpful for people at any stage of their medical condition.
Each drug page contains basic information, such as upsides & downsides and how the med works, but also has several features that are unique to Iodine.
There’s the ‘Worth It’ score, which quickly gives the big picture of others’ experience with a particular medication. Visitors can also drill down on a medication and read drug reviews left by other people.
The ‘What to Expect’ chart gives people a better idea of when they can expect a drug to start working along with possible side effects. These charts are available for most drugs and their different on-label uses.
Iodine also has several helpful tools to help you decide on a medication:
- Compare tool: Not happy with your medication? Easily compare alternatives to discuss with your doctor
- Allergies tool: Find the best prescription or OTC allergy medicine for you based on your symptoms
- Cold & flu tool: Navigate the cold & flu aisle based on your symptoms and preferences
- Birth control tool: Allows users to compare different birth control methods, rank based on preferences, view worth it scores, and read reviews
Additionally, Iodine runs a blog written by experts, physicians, and pharmacists about recent developments in medicine and healthcare, as well as interesting topics as related to the peculiarities of health and drugs. Here are some snippets from recent posts:
Many medications can help manage pain, with the best known being over the counter pain relievers like Motrin (ibuprofen), Aleve (naproxen), or Tylenol (acetaminophen). These drugs — known as NSAIDs, short for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs — work remarkably well for a variety of conditions. But here’s the rub: They work so well that these products get tossed into many other medications, both over-the-counter or prescription-only formulations. That makes it surprisingly easy to take too much without even knowing it.
Afrin (oxymetazoline): Few things feel as good during a cold as a squirt of nasal spray. Just like that, a stuffy nose is gone. But that relief can create a vicious cycle of frequent use that becomes habit forming. Over time, the blood vessels in the nasal passages become inflamed without the nasal spray. This is why every bottle of nasal spray has warnings not to use for more than 3 days. The internet is full of horror stories about “Afrin addiction,” and long-term use can lead to significant damage in the nose. Read about the other 7 surprisingly addictive drugs here.
This is why your allergy meds have stopped working
The first line of treatment for chronic nasal congestion or runny nose is often an inhaled steroid, such as Flonase or Nasacort, both of which are available without a prescription. These nasal steroids are not addictive and you do not build a resistance to them, like you do with other over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays, such as Afrin. (Side note: your stuffy nose might actually get worse with continued use of Afrin, as the drug is likely to cause rebound congestion.) Similarly, studies have shown that people don’t build up a tolerance for antihistamines, another popular choice for treating allergies. So what’s going on here? Turns out there may be other reasons for the loss of effectiveness.