Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Adverse Events Report?

The FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) is a database that contains adverse event reports, medication error reports and product quality complaints resulting in adverse events that were submitted to FDA. The database is designed to support the FDA’s post-marketing safety surveillance program for drug and therapeutic biologic products.

Who sends reports to FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS)?

Healthcare professionals, consumers, and manufacturers submit reports to FAERS. FDA receives voluntary reports directly from healthcare professionals (such as physicians, pharmacists, nurses and others) and consumers (such as patients, family members, lawyers and others). Healthcare professionals and consumers may also report to the products’ manufacturers. If a manufacturer receives a report from a healthcare professional or consumer, it is required to send the report to FDA as specified by regulations.

What points should I consider while viewing the data?

When you view the website output of reported reactions (side effects or adverse drug reactions) for a drug product, it is important to consider the following points:

  • Data Quality: There are many instances of duplicative reports and some reports do not contain all the necessary information. Duplicate reporting occurs when the same report is submitted by the consumer and the sponsor. The information in FAERS evolves daily and the number of individual cases may increase or decrease. It is therefore possible that the information on this website may change over time.
  • Existence of a report does not establish causation: For any given report, there is no certainty that a suspected drug caused the reaction.  While consumers and healthcare professionals are encouraged to report adverse events, the reaction may have been related to the underlying disease being treated, or caused by some other drug being taken concurrently, or occurred for other reasons. The information in these reports reflects only the reporter’s observations and opinions.
  • Information in reports has not been verified: Submission of a report does not mean that the information included in it has been medically confirmed nor it is an admission from the reporter that the drug caused or contributed the event.
  • Rates of occurrence cannot be established with reports: The number of suspected reactions in FAERS should not be used to determine the likelihood of a side effect occurring. The FDA does not receive reports for every adverse event or medication error that occurs with a product. Many factors can influence whether an event will be reported, such as the time a product has been marketed and publicity about an event. Therefore, information in these reports cannot be used to estimate the incidence (occurrence rates) of the reactions reported.
  • Patients should talk to their doctor before stopping or changing how they take their medications.
  • Patient Outcomes received in FAERS: These data describe the outcome of the patient as defined in U.S. reporting regulations (21 CFR 310.305, 314.80, 314.98, 600.80). Serious means that one or more of the following outcomes were documented in the report: death, hospitalization, life-threatening, disability, congenital anomaly, and/or other serious outcome. Documenting one or more of these outcomes in a report does not necessarily mean that the suspect product(s) named in the report was the cause of the outcomes.

Importantly, the FAERS data by themselves are not an indicator of the safety profile of the drug.

What is

The company behind this company, Walnut St. Labs, is a data services company that seeks to make important datasets accessible to more people.