Drug interaction surveillance using individual case safety reports
Abstract: Background: Drug interactions resulting in adverse drug reactions (ADRs) represent a major health problem both for individuals and society in general. Post-marketing pharmacovigilance reporting databases with compiled individual case safety reports (ICSRs) have been shown to be particularly useful in the detection of novel drug - ADR combinations, though these reports have not been fully used to detect adverse drug interactions.Aim: To explore the potential to identify drug interactions using ICSRs and to develop a method to facilitate the detection of adverse drug interaction signals in the WHO Global ICSR Database, VigiBase.Methods: All six studies included in this thesis are based on ICSRs available in VigiBase. Two studies aimed to characterise drug interactions reported in VigiBase. In the first study we examined if contraindicated drug combinations (given in a reference source of drug interactions) were reported on the individual reports in the database, and in the second study we examined the scientific literature for interaction mechanisms for drug combinations most frequently co-reported as interacting in VigiBase. Two studies were case series analyses where the individual reports were manually reviewed. The two remaining studies aimed to develop a method to facilitate detection of novel adverse drug interactions in VigiBase. One examined what information (referred to as indicators) was reported on ICSRs in VigiBase before the interactions became listed in the literature. In the second methodological study, logistic regression was used to set the relative weights of the indicators to form triage algorithms. Three algorithms (one completely data driven, one semi-automated and one based on clinical knowledge) based on pharmacological and reported clinical information and the relative reporting rate of an ADR with a drug combination were developed. The algorithms were then evaluated against a set of 100 randomly selected case series with potential adverse drug interactions. The algorithm’s performances were then evaluated among DDAs with high coefficients.Results: Drug interactions classified as contraindicated are reported on the individual reports in VigiBase, although they are not necessarily recognised as interactions when reported. The majority (113/123) of drug combinations suspected for being responsible for an ADR were established drug interactions in the literature. Of the 113 drug interactions 46 (41%) were identified as purely pharmacodynamic; 28 (25%) as pharmacokinetic; 18 (16%) were a mix of both types and for 21 (19%) the mechanism have not yet been identified. Suspicions of a drug interaction explicitly noted by the reporter are much more common for known adverse drug interactions than for drugs not known to interact. The clinical evaluation of the triage algorithms showed that 20 were already known in the literature, 30 were classified as signals and 50 as not signals. The performance of the semi-automated and the clinical algorithm were comparable. In the end the clinical algorithm was chosen. At a relevant level, 38% were of the adverse drug interactions were already known in the literature and of the remaining 80% were classified as signals for this algorithm.Conclusions: This thesis demonstrated that drug interactions can be identified in large post-marketing pharmacovigilance reporting databases. As both pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions were reported on ICSRs the surveillance system should aim to detect both. The proposed triage algorithm had a high performance in comparison to the disproportionality measure alone.
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