DrugCite is basicallyÂ a search engine for the Food and Drug Administrations (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS). Acording to the website:
“One of the primary ways that the United States Food and Drug Administration monitors the safety of marketed drugs is the collection and analysis of reported adverse events (an event that was not the intended outcome of the prescribed drug and has a negative impact on health) through the Adverse Events Reporting System (AERS). These reports are submitted by physicians, healthcare consumers, lawyers amongst others, and then the FDA scientific staff will assess these events in the context of other databases to determine if a particular safety concern is associated, and possibly caused by, exposure to a particular drug. Since this is a public database and useful to prescribers and patients alike to know if “has what I’m experiencing been described in patients taking this drug before?” DrugCite has created a more friendly interface to answer that question. Use of this data should in no way be confused with the FDA’s rigorous process of evaluating the potential link of adverse events to drugs as causal but merely represents a portal into what is currently being reported to the Agency.”
It’s a neat concept, but please take the information with a grain of salt. Remember that the FDA will list anything that is reported while an individual is on a medication, whether or not the drug is truly the offending agent or not. For example, I searched for acetaminophen and received the graphs below. Looks pretty scary on the surface, but I consider acetaminophen to be one of the safest medications on the U.S. market when used properly. Something to consider when using this tool.