As our group is interested in adverse drug reactions (ADRs), we tested three approaches to find the combinations of a drug and an associated ADR in medical texts. In these experiments, we made use of an NLP program (MetaMap, AR Aronson c.s.) to map the text to medical concepts represented in the UMLS Metathesaurus.
We conclude that to achieve an acceptable performance in extracting drug -ADR combinations, it is necessary to check on the concepts as well as their relation. However, due to characteristics of the drug - ADR relation, the variety of expressions used to refer to it seems to be unlimited. In these aspects our subject differs from those in other relation extraction experiments in the medical field, where the sought- for relation is either inferred from the collocation of concepts (drug - dosage) or expressed by one standard term (x binds y).