Caroline Allen, MLIS
C. S. O’Brien Eye Library
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
EyeMedsNow is a free website providing comprehensive drug information services for ophthalmologists and optometrists. It will be primarily of interest to practicing ophthalmologists and optometrists, but can also be useful to trainees in both specialties.
EyeMedsNow is primarily targeted toward practicing ophthalmologists and optometrists but could also be a beneficial tool for trainees in both fields. Registering for an account is free and available to anyone, but users are prompted to select a “professional role.” Options include optometrist, optometry student, ophthalmologist, optometric technician, ophthalmic technician, medical student, and other.
The team behind EyeMedsNow is composed of authors, editors, advisors, and contributors in the ophthalmology and optometry fields. Several members of the team are well-published in their fields, and all show a history of professional engagement. You can review the team members here: https://eyemedsnow.com/Authors.
The website contains three databases – Ophthalmic Drugs, OTC Tears, and Lid Hygiene.
All three databases are organized in a similar manner. Each item has its own card that contains information about the drug or product. For the Ophthalmic Drugs database, this includes the name of the product and the type of drug, indications/usage, typical dosing, how supplied, preservatives, storage, and a link to compare prices on GoodRx. If users select “show more,” they can see contraindications, adverse reactions, warnings and precautions, minimum patient age, pregnancy/nursing considerations, and black box warnings. In the OTC Tears database, cards show the name of the product and manufacturer, the active ingredients, how supplied, preservatives, specific preservatives, viscosity, notes, and the source of the product information. Some include a link to the product. The Eyelid Hygiene cards show the name and form of the product, the package contents, application, and notes.
Features and Functionality
The Ophthalmic Drugs and OTC Tears lists are both searchable. Ophthalmic Drugs allows users to search by drug classification, conditions/diagnosis, OTC/prescription, route of administration, patient age, or by using a search term such as the drug name. Users can also limit results to drugs that have payment assistance available. Payment assistance information is linked on the drug card and sends users to the drug manufacturer’s website. It does not seem possible to search by drug manufacturer.
The OTC Tears database allows users to search by manufacturer, active ingredient, viscosity, preservative type, excluded preservative, and how supplied, and has a search term box. The drop-down menus make it easy to search within each criterion and the search term box is responsive to a variety of search terms.
The Lid Hygiene database has no ability to search, but it is easy to scroll through the listed products.
The Ophthalmic Drugs database provides links to the manufacturer’s website for each drug. It also links to GoodRX so that users can compare the prices of drugs. In the bottom of the screen there is a weight-based dosing calculator that recommends a dose based on patient weight and the strength of the medication.
A stand-out feature of this resource is how simple it is to quickly view information about each drug from the home screen of each database. The website could be improved by allowing users to save searches to their account and to star or favorite medications or products. More information about how frequently the databases are updated would also allow for users to make more informed decisions.
More information about the funding of this resource and an ability to view some of the usage data could help in promoting it as a useful resource.
EyeMedsNow was created by practicing ophthalmologists and optometrists and offers comprehensive drug information services that are easily searchable and openly accessible. It has the potential to be a valuable resource in both a clinical and academic setting for practicing ophthalmologists, optometrists, and trainees. Since it is free, it will be particularly valuable to individuals practicing in low budget environments. While it is not a directly comparable resource, EyeMedsNow may be used in a similar fashion to the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeWiki page. Both are free resources that can be used to quickly find information about a particular topic.
The lack of information about how frequently the databases are updated and no “last updated” dates on the item cards may make this resource less useful for some library patrons. However, it would be a worthwhile addition to the Association of Vision Science Librarian’s Eye Resources on the Internet list.