Internet Search History May Reveal Unknown Drug Side Effects
WEDNESDAY, March 6 (HealthDay News) -- Analyzing the search history of Internet users can turn up unreported side effects of drugs or drug combinations, according to a new study.
By analyzing a year of search history from 6 million Internet users who consented to share anonymous logs of their online searches, the researchers identified an interaction between two drugs that was unknown when the data was gathered in 2010.
The interaction between the antidepressant drug paroxetine (marketed as Paxil) and the cholesterol-lowering drug pravastatin (marketed as Pravachol or Selektine) increases a patient's risk of developing high levels of blood sugar (hyperglycemia).
The researchers had previously identified this interaction by using an automated method of analyzing U.S. Food and Drug Administration data. They then decided to find out if they could pinpoint this interaction by mining Internet users' search data.Read entire article...