Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How safe is your medication for breastfeeding? Another app - the InfantRisk app!

I wrote last month about the availability of a free app from Lactmed, the similarly free website from the NIH, to help prescribers and mothers determine whether a medication is safe for breastfeeding.

Now Dr. Thomas Hale, author of the bible on this topic, "Medications and Mother's Milk" (aka "MMM") is coming out with an app version called InfantRisk, also for iPhone and Android. If you've ever used "MMM", you know what an amazing reference it is. Dr. Hale classifies drugs into 5 levels of risk category, from L1 (Safest) to L5 (Contraindicated), provides an extensive monograph on each, provides information such as time to peak plasma level in the blood (so a mother could time feedings/pumping around those peak times), and includes a lot of herbal and OTC meds that Lactmed does not.

Watching this video of the app, I was really impressed by how they've put a lot of value added into the app, even going beyond the information available in the book. "InfantRisk" really is the better term for this app, as each drug now has safety information for not only different stages of breastfeeding, but also for each trimester of pregnancy. You can also search based on specific patient parameters, set bookmarks, and get updates from the InfantRisk Center. There's also a quick way to call the InfantRisk Center for questions that you're still unsure about.

This app isn't free, and compared to other apps that I'm used to purchasing (usually $1.99, maybe $4.99 for something great that I'll use a lot) it's a pretty hefty price tag at $29.99. But after I saw the video, I realized it's a great deal for anyone who would otherwise purchase "MMM". For less than the price of the book ($36 on Amazon), you get the same information PLUS a lot of added functionality. With the pregnancy safety info, it would especially be a great investment for an obstetrician, midwife, or family practitioner who would use it both pre- and postnatally. I probably won't purchase it this second, as my work has the latest edition of "MMM", but I'll probably get it eventually for the convenience of having an updated reference at my fingertips. And also 'cause it looks so snazzy!

And don't forget that if you're not looking to invest in the app or the book, but have questions that aren't answered by a free resource like LactMed, anyone can call the InfantRisk Center helpline. They're available Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm central time: (806)-352-2519.

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