Drug related problems with Antiparkinsonian agents: consumer Internet reports versus published data.

Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2007 May 8; [Epub ahead of print] Related Articles, Links
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Drug related problems with Antiparkinsonian agents: consumer Internet reports versus published data.

Schroder S, Zollner YF, Schaefer M.

Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Charite University Medicine, CCM, Berlin, Germany.

PURPOSE: There is currently a lack of detailed information concerning drug related problems in the outpatient treatment of Parkinson’s disease. METHODS: Problems associated with drug treatment communicated anonymously in Parkinson’s disease online forums were therefore retrospectively searched and documented for 1 year. RESULTS: Based on postings concerning 12 drugs for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, a total of 238 drug related problems were identified and categorised using the Problem Intervention Documentation (PI-Doc). Of these, 153 were adverse drug reactions. Adverse drug reactions associated with the skin were relatively common, but central effects such as cognitive or psychiatric changes, effects on the sleep/waking system and other problems like headache and dizziness accounted for the highest percentage of adverse events. A comparison with data from scientific literature revealed a number of differences. This means that an analysis of online forums detected a number of drug related problems that were otherwise largely invisible. These were mainly associated with the qualitative aspects of treatment such as medication handling, dosage and individual problems concerning adverse events. In addition, the described method of identifying and classifying drug related problems in Internet forums may also be seen as a contribution to the international discussion about consumer reports and pharmacovigilance. The information about adverse drug reactions given by Internet users can be seen as a valuable adjunct to clinical trial data and as being very timely with regard to the event itself. CONCLUSION: Online forums may be considered as a suitable source of observational information to complement data from randomised clinical trials. Copyright (c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

PMID: 17486665 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]