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Network analysis predicts drug side effects

Technique can foresee adverse events before medications hit the market

5:44pm, December 21, 2011

Using a new mathematical approach, scientists have predicted drug side effects that typically aren’t discovered until thousands of people have taken a medication. The technique is especially good at foreseeing side effects that show up after days or months of taking a drug, suggesting that a similar approach could help make drugs safer before they come to market and may even save lives.

Researchers started with a 2005 catalog of existing medications and their known side effects, such as heart attacks or sleeping problems. After linking drugs and their side effects into a network, they instructed a com

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