Search for Adverse Events in DISQOVER

DISQOVER is now also hosting a new canonical type: Adverse Event. It contains reports of untoward medical occurrences and treatments, without necessary causal relationship.

This canonical type includes data of the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) that is made available via OpenFDA.

An adverse event or side effect is an unfavorable or inadvertent sign, symptom or disease, co-occurring with the use of a drug including serious drug side effects, product use errors, product quality problems and therapeutic failures. There is no causal relationship and the drug is not necessarily responsible for the side effect. These reports are typically reported by a treating physician, pharmacist, patient, carer, etc. An example could be a rash that could appear when taking a pain killer.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hosts one of the largest collections of adverse event reports digitally submitted since 2004: FAERS. An adverse event is submitted to the FDA to report any undesirable experience associated with the use of a drug, including serious drug side effects, product use errors, product quality problems and therapeutic failures.

Now, you can search for adverse events in DISQOVER and retrieve information about related data types such as diseases, medicines and active substances, amongst others. For example, let’s search for an antihistamine drug: fexofenadine. This active substance is immediately linked with 47 000 adverse events in DISQOVER. When you follow this link, besides an overview of all events, you get the distribution on event seriousness, demographics, type of drug use (single drug usage vs. drug combination), etc.

Screen shot adverse event

Follow this link to see this demo search become a saved query in DISQOVER.

The landscape of linked data in DISQOVER enables searches for adverse events related to a single drug or a group of drugs or searches for potential drugs associated with a specific symptom mentioned in adverse event reports. Such information is highly valuable in qualifying treatments for side effects, pharmacovigilance and drug development.


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