RateADrug.com and How to Check Side Effects Online

David Rothman has recently linked to RateADrug.com and said:

I’ve seen stupid applications of social media in healthcare, but this may take the cake as the dumbest I’ve seen in a good while.

I believe the concept that patients know better which drugs work the best is good, but you just cannot make sure those patients reviews are not coming from pharma representatives or companies. That’s why you can never trust the information on that site.

Mashable also has a review about RateADrug.com.


If I have to show a site to my patient that focuses on drug interactions and side effects, I would say Pharmasurveyor.com is the best one to use.


I’ve come across the third example on the BioCS blog. SIDER seems to be quite useful as well.

After using side effects to predict drug targets, we now created a public database of side effects with a total of 62269 side effects for 888 drugs. The database was created by doing text-mining on labels from various different public sources like the FDA. Furthermore, I developed rules to extract frequency information from the labels, this worked for about one third of the drug–side effect pairs.