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Thursday 20 September 2007

Detecting signals of drug-drug interactions in a spontaneous reports database.

By: Thakrar BT, Grundschober SB, Doessegger L.

Br J Clin Pharmacol 2007 Oct;64(4):489-95

AIMS: The spontaneous reports database is widely used for detecting signals of ADRs. We have extended the methodology to include the detection of signals of ADRs that are associated with drug-drug interactions (DDI). In particular, we have investigated two different statistical assumptions for detecting signals of DDI. METHODS: Using the FDA's spontaneous reports database, we investigated two models, a multiplicative and an additive model, to detect signals of DDI. We applied the models to four known DDIs (methotrexate-diclofenac and bone marrow depression, simvastatin-ciclosporin and myopathy, ketoconazole-terfenadine and torsades de pointes, and cisapride-erythromycin and torsades de pointes) and to four drug-event combinations where there is currently no evidence of a DDI (fexofenadine-ketoconazole and torsades de pointes, methotrexade-rofecoxib and bone marrow depression, fluvastatin-ciclosporin and myopathy, and cisapride-azithromycine and torsade de pointes) and estimated the measure of interaction on the two scales. RESULTS: The additive model correctly identified all four known DDIs by giving a statistically significant (P < 0.05) positive measure of interaction. The multiplicative model identified the first two of the known DDIs as having a statistically significant or borderline significant (P < 0.1) positive measure of interaction term, gave a nonsignificant positive trend for the third interaction (P = 0.27), and a negative trend for the last interaction. Both models correctly identified the four known non interactions by estimating a negative measure of interaction. CONCLUSIONS: The spontaneous reports database is a valuable resource for detecting signals of DDIs. In particular, the additive model is more sensitive in detecting such signals. The multiplicative model may further help qualify the strength of the signal detected by the additive model.

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