Data-driven prediction of adverse drug reactions induced by drug-drug interactions

BMC Pharmacol Toxicol. 2017 Jun 8;18(1):44. doi: 10.1186/s40360-017-0153-6.


Background: The expanded use of multiple drugs has increased the occurrence of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) induced by drug-drug interactions (DDIs). However, such reactions are typically not observed in clinical drug-development studies because most of them focus on single-drug therapies. ADR reporting systems collect information on adverse health effects caused by both single drugs and DDIs. A major challenge is to unambiguously identify the effects caused by DDIs and to attribute them to specific drug interactions. A computational method that provides prospective predictions of potential DDI-induced ADRs will help to identify and mitigate these adverse health effects.

Method: We hypothesize that drug-protein interactions can be used as independent variables in predicting ADRs. We constructed drug pair-protein interaction profiles for ~800 drugs using drug-protein interaction information in the public domain. We then constructed statistical models to score drug pairs for their potential to induce ADRs based on drug pair-protein interaction profiles.

Results: We used extensive clinical database information to construct categorical prediction models for drug pairs that are likely to induce ADRs via synergistic DDIs and showed that model performance deteriorated only slightly, with a moderate amount of false positives and false negatives in the training samples, as evaluated by our cross-validation analysis. The cross validation calculations showed an average prediction accuracy of 89% across 1,096 ADR models that captured the deleterious effects of synergistic DDIs. Because the models rely on drug-protein interactions, we made predictions for pairwise combinations of 764 drugs that are currently on the market and for which drug-protein interaction information is available. These predictions are publicly accessible at . We used the predictive models to analyze broader aspects of DDI-induced ADRs, showing that ~10% of all combinations have the potential to induce ADRs via DDIs. This allowed us to identify potential DDI-induced ADRs not yet clinically reported. The ability of the models to quantify adverse effects between drug classes also suggests that we may be able to select drug combinations that minimize the risk of ADRs.

Conclusion: Almost all information on DDI-induced ADRs is generated after drug approval. This situation poses significant health risks for vulnerable patient populations with comorbidities. To help mitigate the risks, we developed a robust probabilistic approach to prospectively predict DDI-induced ADRs. Based on this approach, we developed prediction models for 1,096 ADRs and used them to predict the propensity of all pairwise combinations of nearly 800 drugs to be associated with these ADRs via DDIs. We made the predictions publicly available via internet access.

Keywords: Adverse drug reactions; Drug-drug interactions; Drug-protein interactions; Pharmacovigilance; Synergistic drug-drug interactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems
  • Databases, Factual
  • Drug Interactions*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Protein Binding