A comparison of the content and primary literature support for online medication information provided by Lexicomp and Wikipedia
Keywords:Wikipedia, Lexicomp, Prescribing Information, Adverse Events
Objectives: The research compared the comprehensiveness and accuracy of two online resources that provide drug information: Lexicomp and Wikipedia.
Methods: Medication information on five commonly prescribed medications was identified and comparisons were made between resources and the relevant literature. An initial content comparison of the following three categories of medication information was performed: dose and instructions, uses, and adverse effects or warnings. The content comparison included sixteen points of comparison for each of the five investigated medications, totaling eighty content comparisons. For each of the medications, adverse reactions that appeared in only one of the resources were identified. When primary, peer-reviewed literature was not referenced supporting the discrepant adverse reactions, a literature search was performed to determine whether or not evidence existed to support the listed claims.
Results: Lexicomp consistently provided more medication information, with information provided in 95.0% (76/80) of the content, compared to Wikipedia’s 42.5% (34/80). Lexicomp and Wikipedia had information present in 91.4% (32/35) and 20.0% (7/35) of dosing and instructions content, respectively. Adverse effects or warning content was provided in 97.5% (39/40) of Lexicomp content and 55.0% (22/40) of Wikipedia content. The “uses” category was present in both Lexicomp and Wikipedia for the 5 medications considered. Of adverse reactions listed solely in Lexicomp, 191/302 (63.2%) were supported by primary, peer-reviewed literature in contrast to 7/7 (100.0%) of adverse reactions listed only in Wikipedia. A review of US Food and Drug Administration Prescribing Information and the Adverse Event Reporting System dashboard found support for a respective 17/102 (16.7%) and 92/102 (90.2%) of Lexicomp’s adverse reactions that were not supported in the literature.Conclusion: Lexicomp is a comprehensive medication information tool that contains lists of adverse reactions that are not entirely supported by primary-peer reviewed literature.
Pew Research Center. Most Internet users start at a search engine when looking for health information online [Internet]. Washington, DC: The Center; Oct 2006 [cited May 2017]. <http://www.pewinternet.org/2006/10/29/most-internet-users-start-at-a-search-engine-when-looking-for-health-information-online/>.
InternetLiveStats. Internet users [Internet]. InternetLiveStats [rev. Jul 2016; cited May 2017]. <http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/>.
Giustini D. How Web 2.0 is changing medicine. BMJ. 2006 Dec 23;333(7582):1283–4.
Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia: introduction [Internet]. Wikimedia Foundation [rev. Sep 2015; cited May 2017]. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Introduction>.
Hughes GJ, Patel P, Mason C. Medical resident choices of electronic drug information resources. J Pharm Pract. 2015 Jun;28(3):280–3.
Brokowski L, Sheehan AH. Evaluation of pharmacist use and perception of Wikipedia as a drug information resource. Ann Pharmacother. 2009 Nov;43(11):1912–3.
Hughes B, Joshi I, Lemonde H, Wareham J. Junior physician’s use of Web 2.0 for information seeking and medical education: a qualitative study. Int J Med Inform. 2009 Oct;78(10):645–55.
Law MR, Mintzes B, Morgan SG. The sources and popularity of online drug information: an analysis of top search engine results and web page views. Ann Pharmacother. 2011 Feb;45(3):350–6.
Alexa Internet. Wikipedia.org traffic statistics [Internet]. Amazon [rev. May 2017; cited May 2017] <http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/wikipedia.org>.
Laurent MR, Vickers TJ. Seeking health information online: does Wikipedia matter? J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2009 Jul–Aug;16(4):471–9.
Lavsa SM, Corman SL, Culley CM, Pummer TL. Reliability of Wikipedia as a medication information source for pharmacy students. Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2011 Apr;3(2):154–8.
Koppen L, Phillips J, Papageorgiou R. Analysis of reference sources used in drug-related Wikipedia articles. J Med Libr Assoc. 2015 Jul;103(3):140–4. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.103.3.007.
Kupferberg N, Protus BM. Accuracy and completeness of drug information in Wikipedia: an assessment. J Med Libr Assoc. 2011 Oct;99(4):310–3. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.99.4.010.
Phillips J, Lam C, Palmisano L. Analysis of the accuracy and readability of herbal supplement information on Wikipedia. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2014 Jul–Aug;54(4):406–14.
Haigh CA. Wikipedia as an evidence source for nursing and healthcare students. Nurse Educ Today. 2011 Feb;31(2):135–9.
Hasty RT, Garbalosa RC, Barbato VA, Valdes PJ Jr, Powers DW, Hernandez E, John JS, Suciu G, Qureshi F, Popa-Radu M, San Jose S, Drexler N, Patankar R, Paz JR, King CW, Gerber HN, Valladares MG, Somji AA. Wikipedia vs peer-reviewed medical literature for information about the 10 most costly medical conditions. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2014 May;114(5):368–73.
Reavley NJ, Mackinnon AJ, Morgan AJ, Alvarez-Jimenez M, Hetrick SE, Killackey E, Nelson B, Purcell R, Yap MB, Jorm AF. Quality of information sources about mental disorders: a comparison of Wikipedia with centrally controlled web and printed sources. Psychol Med. 2012 Aug;42(8):1753–62.
Reilly T, Jackson W, Berger V, Candelario D. Accuracy and completeness of drug information in Wikipedia medication monographs. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2017 Mar–Apr;57(2):193–6.
Candelario DM, Vazquez V, Jackson W, Reilly T. Completeness, accuracy, and readability of Wikipedia as a reference for patient medication information. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2017 Mar–Apr;57(2):107–200.
Kräenbring J, Penza TK, Gutmann J, Muehlich S, Zolk O, Wojnowski L. A comparison with standard textbooks of pharmacology. PLOS ONE. 2014 Sep;9(9):e106930.
Clauson KA, Polen HH, Boulos MN, Dzenowagis JH. Scope, completeness, and accuracy of drug information in Wikipedia. Ann Pharmacother. 2008 Dec;42(12):1814–21.
Mountford CM, Lee T, de Lemos J, Loewen PS. Quality and usability of common drug information databases. Can J Hosp Pharm. 2010 Mar;63(2):130–7.