Mining Directional Drug Interaction Effects on Myopathy Using the FAERS Database

Danai Chasioti, Xiaohui Yao, Pengyue Zhang, Samuel Lerner, Sara K. Quinney, Xia Ning, Lang Li, Li Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Mining high-order drug-drug interaction (DDI) induced adverse drug effects from electronic health record databases is an emerging area, and very few studies have explored the relationships between high-order drug combinations. We investigate a novel pharmacovigilance problem for mining directional DDI effects on myopathy using the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) database. Our paper provides information on the risk of myopathy associated with adding new drugs on the already prescribed medication, and visualizes the identified directional DDI patterns as user-friendly graphical representation. We utilize the Apriori algorithm to extract frequent drug combinations from the FAERS database. We use odds ratio to estimate the risk of myopathy associated with directional DDI. We create a tree-structured graph to visualize the findings for easy interpretation. Our method confirmed myopathy association with previously reported HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors like rosuvastatin, fluvastatin, simvastatin, and atorvastatin. New, previously unidentified but mechanistically plausible associations with myopathy were also observed, such as the DDI between pamidronate and levofloxacin. Additional top findings are gadolinium-based imaging agents, which however are often used in myopathy diagnosis. Other DDIs with no obvious mechanism are also reported, such as that of sulfamethoxazole with trimethoprim and potassium chloride. This study shows the feasibility to estimate high-order directional DDIs in a fast and accurate manner. The results of the analysis could become a useful tool in the specialists' hands through an easy-to-understand graphic visualization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8485332
Pages (from-to)2156-2163
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • Apriori
  • Directional effect
  • frequent itemsets
  • high-order drug interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Health Information Management

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