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Opportunities for Web-based Drug Repositioning: Searching for Potential Antihypertensive Agents with Hypotension Adverse Events

Opportunities for Web-based Drug Repositioning: Searching for Potential Antihypertensive Agents with Hypotension Adverse Events

Journal of Medical Internet Research 18(4): E76

Drug repositioning refers to the process of developing new indications for existing drugs. As a phenotypic indicator of drug response in humans, clinical side effects may provide straightforward signals and unique opportunities for drug repositioning. We aimed to identify drugs frequently associated with hypotension adverse reactions (ie, the opposite condition of hypertension), which could be potential candidates as antihypertensive agents. We systematically searched the electronic records of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) through the openFDA platform to assess the association between hypotension incidence and antihypertensive therapeutic effect regarding a list of 683 drugs. Statistical analysis of FAERS data demonstrated that those drugs frequently co-occurring with hypotension events were more likely to have antihypertensive activity. Ranked by the statistical significance of frequent hypotension reporting, the well-known antihypertensive drugs were effectively distinguished from others (with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve > 0.80 and a normalized discounted cumulative gain of 0.77). In addition, we found a series of antihypertensive agents (particularly drugs originally developed for treating nervous system diseases) among the drugs with top significant reporting, suggesting the good potential of Web-based and data-driven drug repositioning. We found several candidate agents among the hypotension-related drugs on our list that may be redirected for lowering blood pressure. More important, we showed that a pharmacovigilance system could alternatively be used to identify antihypertensive agents and sustainably create opportunities for drug repositioning.

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Accession: 058464000

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PMID: 27036325

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