Dr William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library
Grossmont Healthcare District - A Public Agency Serving San Diego's East County Region
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Drugs, Herbs, & Vitamins

Quick reference to drugs, herbs, and supplements and their uses



Drug Information - Drug Index from Medline Plus

MedlinePlus: Drugs, Herbs and Supplements – Quick access to the National Library of Medicine’s consumer-friendly information on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, dietary supplements, and herbal remedies in an easy A to Z format. Información sobre medicinas, hierbas, y suplementos en Español.

Drugs@FDA – Easy-to-use A to Z list of drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Also searchable by drug name, active ingredient, or application number. Información de la Administración de Medicamentos y Alimentos en Español.

National Council on Patient Information and Education – NCPIE offers links to reliable information for medicine users, tools for consumers, and special groups such as women, children, and older adults. NCPIE works to address critical medicine safe use issues like adherence improvement, prescription drug abuse prevention, treatment and recovery, medication error reduction, quality improvements in healthcare provider–patient medicine communication, and safe storage and disposal of medicines.

PDR.net/PDR+ for Patients – Physician’s Desk Reference is a leading drug resource. This consumer website provides drug guides written for the patient and can be searched or browsed by drug name. Includes the benefits and safety information for the drugs.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration – Provides consumer-friendly information related to prescription and over-the-counter medications. Topics include medication guides; approval, labeling, side effects, and safety information; FAQs on popular topics; buying medicine safely; and using medicine safely. " target="_blank">Información de la Administración de Medicamentos y Alimentos en Español.


Herbal, Vitamin, Mineral, Dietary Supplements

Natural Medicines – The Herrick Library subscribes to this database, which is directly accessible in the library or from home with a library card. It provides systematic aggregation, analysis, and review of the literature about complementary and alternative therapies. It contains over 1,200 monographs on natural ingredients, including vitamins, herbs, minerals, non-herbal supplements, naturally sourced chemical compounds, and foods. Each monograph provides scientific, evidence-based information on safety, effectiveness, interactions, and more. Patient Handouts are available in English, Spanish, and French. There are also databases on health and wellness, sports medicine, comparative effectiveness, manufacturers, commercial dietary supplement products, and medical conditions. Tools include checkers on interactions, nutrient depletion, effectiveness, adverse effects, and pregnancy and lactation.
In-Library Use
Home Access

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine - One of the National Institutes of Health, NCCAM provides an A to Z list of health topics covering a wide range of complementary and alternative medicine topics. The Herbs at a Glance section provides fact sheets with basic information on specific herbs or botanicals, including common names, uses, and potential side effects. Información en Español sobre la medicina complementaria y alternativa.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health – One of the National Institutes of Health, NCCIH is the federal government's lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. Provides Health Topics A to Z, Herbs at a Glance, Be an Informed Consumer, and more, Información en Español sobre.

Office of Dietary Supplements – Part of the National Institutes of Health, ODS provides in-depth information about vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements, including fact sheets for consumers in English and en Español.

Tips for older supplement users – The FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) offers this site with information on vitamins, minerals, herbals, botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and animal extracts with a special focus on the benefits and risks for older adults.


Organizing Your Medications

How to Create a Pill Card – The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality provides a guide to help users create an easy-to-use “pill card” for keeping track of medicines.

My Medication List – Safe Medication.com provides a two-page document that can be filled in online or printed.

There are many apps available for smartphones for keeping track of medications.


Shopping for Drugs

California State Board of Pharmacy – Advice on many aspects of drug purchasing, including state laws pertaining to prescribing and pharmacies. Includes advice on buying drugs on the Internet and a section of information for consumers, including fact sheets, tips and advice, and how to file a complaint for pharmacy or prescription errors.

ConsumerMedSafety.org – The Institute for Safe Medication Practices offers information on both over-the counter and prescription medications, including special sections for children’s medications and herbal. Includes advice on how to receive and purchase medications, avoid mistakes when taking medicines, and store and dispose of them safely.

Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs – This free public education project provides guidance on the safety, effectiveness, and cost of drugs. Lists the best buys for drugs, provides information on reading drug labels, and lists drugs by condition or drug categories. Also includes recall information and drugs to avoid. Información en Español.

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D) – The official Medicare website contains extensive information about Medicare prescription drug coverage, called Part D. Cobertura de medicamentos recetados de Medicare (Parte D) en Español. Information in 17 other languages.



Disclaimer: The Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library provides public access to a wide range of health and medical information and is not a substitute for medical advice. You are advised to consult with your physician or other health care professional concerning specific questions or to obtain medical advice.

The links found on this website do not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library, its affiliates, or individuals. We are not responsible for and do not sanction the information contained in websites linked from this site.


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