Evaluating Patients' Perspective on Metoclopramide with Text Mining
Pharmacovigilance attempts to detect, assess, understand, and prevent adverse effects or any other possible drug-related problems. All pharmacovigilance systems in existence today rely on voluntary reporting. The effectiveness of these systems are limited due to under reporting and reporting bias. A vast amount of patient generated data on possible adverse effects can be found on health related web forums and social media. It is possible to use these user generated data to augment traditional pharmacovigilance systems. The purpose of this study is to examine the usefulness of such data found on health related web forums by evaluating patients’ perspective on metoclopramide. Data was obtained from two popular health related forums Drugs.com and WebMD.com. Web scraping was used to obtain the necessary data in tabulated form. According to patients’ reports on Drugs.com, the most common uses of metoclopramide were for "migraine" and "nausea," while the least frequently reported usage was for "GERD,". Most frequently reported side effects included "anxiety" and "headache". Fatigue and akathisia were the adverse effects least frequently mentioned. According to patient perspectives from WebMD.com, the most reported indications for metoclopramide were "nausea" and "vomit", while the least reported indication was "migraine". According to WebMD data, the most frequently reported adverse effects of metoclopramide were "spasm," "cough," "bloat" and "drowsiness" while the least reported adverse effect was "Parkinson’s".