FDA MedWatch (for reporting side effects/adverse drug reactions or drug product issues) – This is the website for consumers, caregivers, and healthcare providers to submit their online reports of suspected or confirmed adverse drug reactions (from over-the-counter or prescription drugs). If you prefer to talk with an FDA representative via phone, call 1-800-332-1088. To access the downloadable paper reporting forms, you can find those forms here.
FDA/CDC Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting (for reporting vaccine side effects) – Call 1-800-822-7967. To access the downloadable paper reporting forms, you can find those forms here or report online here.
Poison Control – (NOTE: do not call poison control for breathing issues or if a person experiences a loss of consciousness – call 911! For all other medication concerns, keep reading) – Did you or a loved one take medication and something happened that makes you feel like you need help? Then, call the national Poison Control Helpline at 1-800-222-1222. According to the American Association for Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), there are over 55 poison control centers in the U.S. with each center answering calls coming into the Poison Control Helpline from a designated geographic area. Every day calls come in from the general public, hospitals, EMTs, and other health care providers. All poison control center calls are answered by physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and other medical professionals with specific training in toxicology. This free and confidential service operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Suicide Prevention Hotlines – Unfortunately, some medications have been associated with an increased risk of suicidal thoughts. So, please speak with a professional if you are feeling suicidal during or after taking any medication. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. However, if you prefer to talk with someone via text instead, contact Crisis Text Line support by texting “HOME” to 741741.
Medication Guides – Over 100 medications have Medication Guides that you should receive when you’re prescribed those medications, but this does not always happen. Medication Guides are “patient-friendly” FDA-approved handouts with very helpful information about your medication but are not available for every medication on the U.S. market (the FDA determines when these guides are necessary). So, if your drug comes with one, it likely has certain serious risk factors or instructions for use that you should definitely know about. Find out if your medication comes with a Medication Guide.
DailyMed – From the National Institute of Health (NIH)’s U.S. National Library of Medicine, DailyMed is the official provider of FDA label information (package inserts), providing a standard, comprehensive, up-to-date, look-up and downloadable resource capability on medications being sold and marketed in the U.S. You can also find Medication Guides on this site.
Pharmaceutical Drug Disposal Locations – Ready to safely get rid of your medications? Find locations near you that accept unwanted or expired pharmaceutical medications by searching the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s authorized collector search website.
Join an SJS/TEN Survivor Study – Have you had Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS)/Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN)? Then, consider participating in Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s (VUMC) “SJS/TEN Survivor Study: Genetic risks and long-term outcomes”. (SJS/TEN) are life-threatening but potentially preventable drug-induced diseases with high mortality and understudied long-term morbidity. Researchers need the help of survivors if prevention is ever going to be a reality! To learn more about this important work, click the study link or email the study team at firstname.lastname@example.org. VUMC researchers are particularly interested in racial minorities where the current genetic tests available do not predict severe cutaneous adverse drug reactions.
New Safety Updates – There are no federal or state laws that require consumers are notified in a timely manner about new safety risks associated with the medication they purchased. So, until the laws change, find out if your medication has had any recent safety risks, changes, or updates by searching the FDA’s safety-related labeling changes website (note: these same changes should be accessible from the DailyMed site listed above).
Drug Interactions – Did you know that your medication can interact with other drugs, the foods you eat, or even the disease or conditions you may have? Well, it’s true and you can learn more about these interactions from Drugs.com by accessing their Drugs Interaction Checker.
Over-the-Counter Label Medication Safety – Learn more about the important sections of over-the-counter drug labels and what those mean.
Potential Serious Safety Risks – Find out which medications are on the FDA’s list for potentially serious safety risks based on feedback they have received from consumers, healthcare providers, and pharmaceutical manufacturers related to both over-the-counter and prescription drug products. The FDA reports on these potential safety risks quarterly.
Medications with Genomic Biomarkers on their Drug Labeling – According to the FDA, “Pharmacogenomics can play an important role in identifying responders and non-responders to medications, avoiding adverse events, and optimizing drug dose.” Review the list and see if your medication is listed.