Detecting potential adverse drug reactions using a deep neural network model

Chi Shiang Wang, Pei Ju Lin, Ching Lan Cheng, Shu Hua Tai, Yea Huei Kao Yang, Jung Hsien Chiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are common and are the underlying cause of over a million serious injuries and deaths each year. The most familiar method to detect ADRs is relying on spontaneous reports. Unfortunately, the low reporting rate of spontaneous reports is a serious limitation of pharmacovigilance. Objective: The objective of this study was to identify a method to detect potential ADRs of drugs automatically using a deep neural network (DNN). Methods: We designed a DNN model that utilizes the chemical, biological, and biomedical information of drugs to detect ADRs. This model aimed to fulfill two main purposes: identifying the potential ADRs of drugs and predicting the possible ADRs of a new drug. For improving the detection performance, we distributed representations of the target drugs in a vector space to capture the drug relationships using the word-embedding approach to process substantial biomedical literature. Moreover, we built a mapping function to address new drugs that do not appear in the dataset. Results: Using the drug information and the ADRs reported up to 2009, we predicted the ADRs of drugs recorded up to 2012. There were 746 drugs and 232 new drugs, which were only recorded in 2012 with 1325 ADRs. The experimental results showed that the overall performance of our model with mean average precision at top-10 achieved is 0.523 and the rea under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) score achieved is 0.844 for ADR prediction on the dataset. Conclusions: Our model is effective in identifying the potential ADRs of a drug and the possible ADRs of a new drug. Most importantly, it can detect potential ADRs irrespective of whether they have been reported in the past.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere11016
JournalJournal of medical Internet research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics


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