Web-based data tool designed to enhance drug safety

A new kind of search engine has been developed and can be used to reduce the negative side effects of prescription drugs , while even discovering new uses for medications.

The open-access database, named AERSMine, was developed by scientists in the Division of Biomedical Informatics and the Clinical and Translational Sciences Program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. It is meant to store the five million responses patients have had to all FDA approved drugs, including unexpected side effects, new uses for the medication and the benefits it had on their health.

"AERSMine offers an open aperture approach that can reveal unexpectedly better or worse clinical outcomes associated with different drug regimens for some groups of patients, and [it can] facilitate the ultimate goal of protecting patients by improving therapeutic selections and monitoring strategies," said Mayur Sarangdhar, PhD, a research associate in the Division of Biomedical Informatics at Cincinnati Children's. "It also conserves valuable therapeutics by minimizing harmful interaction choices."

AERSMine includes information on drug exposures, disease indications and clinical outcomes. It hopes ease access to drug safety and effectiveness data as well has helping researchers find improved uses of certain drugs by analyzing patient information and experiences logged into the database.

"One of the capabilities that makes AERSMine different from any other clinical data mining system is its ability to use knowledge frameworksontologiesto form the groupings of patients, medications, and outcomes and gain what we believe is an unprecedented power to explore and identify both unexpectedly negative and positive drug effects. Doing this has the potential to uncover new uses for drugs and drug regimen combinations," said Bruce Aronow, PhD, senior study author and co-director of the Computational Medicine Center at Cincinnati Children's.