Public Libraries: Health Information Resources

Guides to Finding Good Health Information Online

Health Information Resources

MedlinePlus is an online health information resource for patients and their families and friends. MedlinePlus is a service of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world's largest medical library, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Health Information
NIH isn't just for biomedical professionals. Information for the public is included on the primary NIH Health Information webpages with links to educational resources, health information, and the monthly NIH Health In News publication. NIH Health in News can be linked from your library's website, downloaded and printed, and can be ordered in bulk to provide to your patrons. Spanish-language health information from across NIH in one place. Also, visit each of the 27 institutes and centers at NIH where you'll find additional health information for the public and for your library.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is part of the National Institutes of Health, 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.

Drug Information

MedlinePlus: Drugs and Supplements
Health Topic Page Drugs & Supplements includes information about prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines. Includes side effects, dosage, special precautions, and more. Browse dietary supplements and herbal remedies to learn about their effectiveness, usual dosage, and drug interactions.

Herbs at a Glance
Herbs at a Glance is located on the NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) website and is also available as the HerbList app. Herbs at a Glance is a series of brief fact sheets that provides basic information about specific herbs or botanicals—common names, what the science says, potential side effects and cautions, and resources for more information.

NIH Office of Dietary Supplements
Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) fact sheets give a current overview of individual vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements.

Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed)
The LactMed database contains information on drugs and other chemicals to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's webpage for consumers contains information about how to stay safe and healthy. The FDA webpage for patients has information on treatments, drugs, and medical devices, including approvals and recalls.


National Library of Medicine
The National Library of Medicine (NLM), on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, has been a center of information innovation since its founding in 1836. The world’s largest biomedical library, NLM maintains and makes available a vast print collection and produces electronic information resources on a wide range of topics that are searched billions of times each year by millions of people around the globe. It also supports and conducts research, development, and training in biomedical informatics and health information technology.

PubMed is a free resource supporting the search and retrieval of biomedical and life sciences literature with the aim of improving health–both globally and personally. The PubMed database contains more than 30 million citations and abstracts of biomedical literature. It does not include full-text journal articles; however, links to the full text are often present when available from other sources, such as the publisher's website or PubMed Central (PMC).

PubMed Central® (PMC)
PMC is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM). Today, PMC contains more than 7 million full-text records, spanning several centuries of biomedical and life science research (late 1700s to present). Though the articles are free to access, copyright restrictions may still apply (see the PMC Copyright Notice). is a database of privately and publicly funded clinical studies conducted around the world. is a resource provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Open-i: Open Access Biomedical Image Search Engine
Open-i is a service of the National Library of Medicine enables search and retrieval of abstracts and images (including charts, graphs, clinical images, etc.) from the open source literature, and biomedical image collections. Searching may be done using text queries as well as query images. Open-i provides access to over 3.7 million images from about 1.2 million PubMed Central® articles; 7,470 chest x-rays with 3,955 radiology reports; 67,517 images from NLM History of Medicine collection; and 2,064 orthopedic illustrations.

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