Role of Text Mining in Early Identification of Potential Drug Safety Issues
Drugs are an important part of today’s medicine, designed to treat, control, and prevent diseases; however, besides their therapeutic effects, drugs may also cause adverse effects that range from cosmetic to severe morbidity and mortality. To identify these potential drug safety issues early, surveillance must be conducted for each drug throughout its life cycle, from drug development to different phases of clinical trials, and continued after market approval. A major aim of pharmacovigilance is to identify the potential drug–event associations that may be novel in nature, severity, and/or frequency. Currently, the state-of-the-art approach for signal detection is through automated procedures by analyzing vast quantities of data for clinical knowledge. There exists a variety of resources for the task, and many of them are textual data that require text analytics and natural language processing to derive high-quality information. This chapter focuses on the utilization of text mining techniques in identifying potential safety issues of drugs from textual sources such as biomedical literature, consumer posts in social media, and narrative electronic medical records.