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Dr. T Nivethitha*


Aims and Objectives: Pioglitazone, a member of thiazolidiones, is commonly used to treat diabetes mellitus. However, recently there has been a lot of debate regarding its use because of its withdrawal from the Indian market fearing risk of bladder cancer and subsequent reintroduction. Since internet remains an easily accessible tool for millions, this study was performed to assess the quality and reliability of such articles on the internet. Materials and Methods: This study was performed on September 24th 2013. The keyword “PIOGLITAZONE” was used in search engines GOOGLE, YAHOO, ASK and BING. Top 10 websites of search results from each search engine were browsed. A total of 40 web sited taken for review. The quality of information related to PIOGLITAZONE published was Assessed using a quality criteria questionnaire tool for health information, designed by the university of Oxford, called DISCERN. The overall quality of each website is rated as low, moderate and high. Results: Of the total 40 websites taken for analysis, 75% (n = 30) were of moderate quality and 7.5% (n = 3) of high quality. About 17.5% (n = 7) of the websites display poor quality information about PIOGLITAZONE. Conclusion: Though there are innumerable websites available which display huge amount of information on PIOGLITAZONE, the overall quality of this information is moderate. Hence internet search engines can only be used as a valuable adjunct but can never replace the expert opinion of a physician.

Keywords: Pioglitazone, diabetes , bladder cancer, online literature.

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