Ontological approach for safe and effective polypharmacy prescription.

Adela Grando, Susan Farrish, Cynthia Boyd, Aziz Boxwala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The intake of multiple medications in patients with various medical conditions challenges the delivery of medical care. Initial empirical studies and pilot implementations seem to indicate that generic safe and effective multi-drug prescription principles could be defined and reused to reduce adverse drug events and to support compliance with medical guidelines and drug formularies. Given that ontologies are known to provide well-principled, sharable, setting-independent and machine-interpretable declarative specification frameworks for modeling and reasoning on biomedical problems, we explore here their use in the context of multi-drug prescription. We propose an ontology for modeling drug-related knowledge and a repository of safe and effective generic prescription principles. To test the usability and the level of granularity of the developed ontology-based specification models and heuristic we implemented a tool that computes the complexity of multi-drug treatments, and a decision aid to check the safeness and effectiveness of prescribed multi-drug treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-300
Number of pages10
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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