Application of the Apriori algorithm for adverse drug reaction detection

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2009;148:95-101.


The objective of this research is to assess the suitability of the Apriori association analysis algorithm for the detection of adverse drug reactions (ADR) in health care data. The Apriori algorithm is used to perform association analysis on the characteristics of patients, the drugs they are taking, their primary diagnosis, co-morbid conditions, and the ADRs or adverse events (AE) they experience. This analysis produces association rules that indicate what combinations of medications and patient characteristics lead to ADRs. A simple data set is used to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the algorithm.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Data Mining
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / diagnosis*
  • Humans