University of Delaware - College of Engineering

Hui Fang, Assistant Professor

An Early Warning System for Unrecognized Drug Side Effects Discovery

Drugs can treat human diseases through chemical interactions between the ingredients and intended targets in the human body. However, the ingredients could unexpectedly interact with off-targets,which may cause adverse drug side effects. Notifying patients and physicians of potential drug effects is an important step in improving healthcare quality and delivery. Unfortunately, it is impossible to know all side effects before a drug enters the market. After a drug is approved by FDA, all the patients taking the drug end up being part of a large post-clinical experiment to identify unrecognized and unexpected drug side effects. Traditionally, such information is often gathered by physicians from their patients, and then reported to FDA through MedWatch system. Recently, with the increasing popularity of Web 2.0 applications, more and more patients start discussing drug side effects in many online sources prior to their doctor visits. These discussions form a valuable information source, which makes it possible to detect potential unrecognized drug side effects much earlier. In this project, we will develop a novel early warning system for unrecognized drug side effects based on the text information automatically gathered from the Internet.

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