WITHDRAWN--a resource for withdrawn and discontinued drugs

Nucleic Acids Res. 2016 Jan 4;44(D1):D1080-6. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv1192. Epub 2015 Nov 8.


Post-marketing drug withdrawals can be associated with various events, ranging from safety issues such as reported deaths or severe side-effects, to a multitude of non-safety problems including lack of efficacy, manufacturing, regulatory or business issues. During the last century, the majority of drugs voluntarily withdrawn from the market or prohibited by regulatory agencies was reported to be related to adverse drug reactions. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of toxicity is of utmost importance for current and future drug discovery. Here, we present WITHDRAWN, a resource for withdrawn and discontinued drugs publicly accessible at http://cheminfo.charite.de/withdrawn. Today, the database comprises 578 withdrawn or discontinued drugs, their structures, important physico-chemical properties, protein targets and relevant signaling pathways. A special focus of the database lies on the drugs withdrawn due to adverse reactions and toxic effects. For approximately one half of the drugs in the database, safety issues were identified as the main reason for withdrawal. Withdrawal reasons were extracted from the literature and manually classified into toxicity types representing adverse effects on different organs. A special feature of the database is the presence of multiple search options which will allow systematic analyses of withdrawn drugs and their mechanisms of toxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Pharmaceutical*
  • Drug Recalls
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / chemistry
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Proteins / drug effects
  • Safety-Based Drug Withdrawals*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Proteins