PubMed Health to be discontinued October 31, 2018; content will continue to be available at NLM

PubMed Health to be discontinued October 31, 2018; content will continue to be available at NLM

Update #2: As announced July 31, 2018, the PubMed Health website has been shut down as of October 31, 2018.

NLM thanks you for using PubMed Health over the years.

Update #1: As reported previously, the PubMed Health website will shut down on October 31, 2018. This decision was made so the National Library of Medicine (NLM) can consolidate its consumer health and comparative effectiveness resources to make them easier to find.

In an effort to consolidate similar resources and make information easier to find, the National Library of Medicine will be retiring its PubMed Health website, effective October 31, 2018, and providing the same or similar content through more widely used NLM resources, namely PubMed, MedlinePlus, and Bookshelf.

PubMed Health content falls into two general categories: consumer health resources and systematic reviews/comparative effectiveness research (CER). A similar range of consumer health information to that in PubMed Health is available from NLM’s MedlinePlus, while the systematic reviews and CER in PubMed Health are searchable through PubMed, which links to the full text (when available) in Bookshelf, journals, and/or PubMed Central.

What will change?

The primary change is that the PubMed Health website will not be available as of October 31, so if you previously accessed information through that site you instead will want to use PubMed to search for systematic reviews/CER and MedlinePlus to search for consumer health information.

PubMed has always indexed NLM’s systematic reviews/CER, so if you typically searched for that content via PubMed you would conduct your searches as usual. For those not familiar with using PubMed to search for systematic reviews, one simple way to do so is to enter your query in the search box and then limit the results to systematic reviews by marking the check box for them in “Customize” under “Article types,” located in the top left corner of the search results page (see Figure 1).

Article types on the PubMed search results page. Red arrow points to customize on left side
Figure 1. Article types on the PubMed search results page.

Also within the next year, PubMed will include a default check box for systematic reviews. You can get a sense of how that will look by visiting PubMed Labs, our Web site for experimenting with potential new features and interfaces for PubMed.

NLM is still figuring out some of the details of phasing out PubMed Health, but we wanted to give users advance notice. When more details become available, we will keep you informed via the NCBI Insights blog.

43 thoughts on “PubMed Health to be discontinued October 31, 2018; content will continue to be available at NLM

  1. Alerting users far in advance is most considerate & appreciated. Including a view of what to expect to see in future shows a level of concern for readers above & beyond that of most current publications I frequent. Kudos!

  2. I just found this site about 2 weeks ago. Very informative . Hope the new site fits for the people involved. Thank you

  3. At first sight, I seemed worrisome but with the supplied information, I think there is no cause for alarm.

    1. But it sounds as if the information will still be available, same content, maybe just slightly different format. It is almost always good to remove duplicate data which is what this sounds like. Give it a chance. Why have multiple books that all say the same thing but gave different titles?

      1. Yeah but all the links and search engine results from places like google will be broken unless they create redirects from all the old pages but that’s not going to happen (didn’t happen).

  4. Thank you for the Heads Up! I look forward to the continuing use of this first rate medical library!

  5. I am just starting to get familiar with all the knowledge you are contributing to the public. I will be looking for you from now on!!

  6. I have to disagree with everyone’s enthusiasm. This resource, as it is now, is what many people depend on to get accurate information from reputable sites. I have not found the information as presented by pubmed to be reproduced as systematically and completely anywhere else on the web. That’s the reason I use it. This does not need to be “improved”.

    1. I totally agree with David: The resources available on PubMedHealth were available in a systematic, easy-to-find format, with a thoroughness and efficiency not found elsewhere. It was easy for the public to understand, and I often referred clients and friends to it, particularly for the medical glossary. Its discontinuation is a great loss.
      BTW, this wonderful website was taken down at exactly noon today, October 31. I was on it when this occurred.

  7. I have online articles that are back-linked to pubmed, and these articles are supposed to be evergreen. I will like to know if you guys are going to redirect to another site with similar information? You are doing a great job by the way, keep up!

  8. Checked out PubMed and its not even close to being as accessible for basic med information. Is there another resource available? I mean other than Wikipedia.

    1. MedlinePlus isn’t bad for basic information. Then clicking on external sites can give some good resources…but as of now you have to click through. At a more advanced level, is good., less technical and more consumer-oriented, is good for what it does. The Medical Library Association periodically publishes a list of good medical sites, many listed by disease, at They also have a guide at Of course, the Internet being dynamic, these can change. Health on the Net,, used to have a great search engine but is undergoing changes right now and can be frustrating to use. However, for insight into medical research, clinical trials, etc., at a level understandable by lay people, I have found NO substitute for PubMedHealth

  9. I’m editing a book written by a surgeon who has a reference to an article URL on PubMed Health. Will article URLs automatically redirect to the new location? How best to handle that? Thank you.

  10. I guess I’m confused. Does this mean as we continue to use PubMed that we will get a link to the new site for more information that PubMed Health would have normally given? Or does this mean that we should set up a whole other search tool with the new source?

    1. Thanks for your question. After October 31, when you use PubMed to search, you’ll see links that will point toward where the content is stored. So, for systematic reviews or CER content, you’ll get links to the full text that will point toward Bookshelf.

  11. How should I cite articles like PMHT0024735 since the citation will need to work when PubMed Health disappears

  12. to Moderators, can you please fix the misspelled word, “nake”, to “name”, I don’t get online very much, thank youm and GOD bless you all.

  13. I have used this site in my studies on numerous occasions, I shall miss this reputable site. But I thank you for your early warning and will have to look for other places to find good knowledge.

    Connie J.

  14. So I just tried the alternatives you indicated will be taking the place is pubmedhealth and found they were All woefully inadequate to my needs. Pubmed was so advanced it didn’t have a listing of the medication I was looking up. All it is is scientific articles, Medline plus didn’t even list the medication (losartan) I was searching and when I did finally find it the info was so superficial I couldn’t use it and bookshelf was also nothing but scientific articles. And this is what you are leaving me with????? Wonderful

  15. Dang. My research rough draft is due on the 30th of october and final is due on November 8th. He is checking sources. I wonder now if he clicks on the links of pubmed health links i have used, will they even be there or appear to have never existed? 50 page paper and lots of references to this. Bummed bummed bummed.

  16. I always refer to pubmed when it’s about health. I am really appreciate all the work you all have done. So sad the party is coming to an end.
    Hopefully all the linked articles will be redirected to a new one correctly.

    1. Right now, a link goes to a page that says, “We are sorry, but the page you requested is no longer available.” So I guess we’re on our own to work out new resources. As a medical writer, I truly sympathize with all who use PubMedHealth links in various ways…It’s going to be a difficult task to update them.

  17. Is there a way to always have access to the legacy Pubmed? I do not like the new one at all. Please advise!

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