Since its launch in October 2008, the online information database embryotox.de that provides information related to the risks of using medicines during pregnancy and breastfeeding, reached over a million visits.
The website has been well-received by both experts and individual users, with the number of visits having increased from 600 per day initially to an average of 2 200.
In this regard, the Parliamentary State Secretary, Ulrike Flach, explains: "The increased number of visits shows that the subject of drug treatment safety during pregnancy and lactation is of great importance. Through the database, we provide quality-assured information to the public. The information is aimed at both interested or affected individuals as well as healthcare professionals. We have thus ensured that a sophisticated risk assessment of taking drugs in pregnancy and lactation is handled with sensitivity. In addition, the information database provides practical solution strategies for the most common decision-making cases in pregnancy and lactation."
The database was developed in the framework of a research project that is funded by the Federal Ministry of Health’s Action Plan 2008/2009 to improve the safety of drug treatment in Germany (Aktionsplan 2008/2009 zur Verbesserung der Arzneimitteltherapiesicherheit - AMTS, in German). The database provides quality-assured and independent answers to the growing number of security issues related to drug therapy during pregnancy and lactation. It is supplemented with an additional research project also aimed at improving the safety of drug treatment by collecting and analysing data online during the course of pregnancy after having taken medication.
Depending on the seasonal needs, for instance during the tree-pollen period, information for anti-allergens can be retrieved; moreover, during the flu season, information on vaccination can be found online. However, regardless the information provided for seasonal issues, users can also find information about how to deal with pain covering a range of issues such as: mental, rheumatic and other chronic and acute diseases that pregnant and breastfeeding women may face.