Many doctors unknowingly prescribe drugs 'off-label,' study finds

Share this article:

A large number of physicians don't know when they are prescribing drugs, including antipsychotics, "off-label," according to a recent report.

"Off-label" refers to the practice of prescribing drugs in ways that are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Often, doctors will prescribe antipsychotics to treat Alzheimer's disease and dementia, even though he drug is intended for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. But researchers in the journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety say that nearly 20% of doctors will prescribe the drug Seroquel thinking it had been approved for dementia treatment, according to The New York Times. This occurred even though the drug carried a "black box" warning that it was dangerous for elderly patients with dementia.

The researchers from the University of Chicago also found that the average physician could correctly identify FDA approval status for only half the drugs they were asked about, according to the Times. One concern is that there is less scientific support for off-label uses as FDA-approved uses, one report author said.

 


Share this article:

More in News

CMS expands therapy payment research

The government is expanding its research into alternative therapy payments, to consider more holistic changes to the way Medicare reimburses skilled nursing facilities, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Tuesday.

CDC tightens Ebola guidelines for healthcare workers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued more stringent guidelines for how healthcare workers should interact with Ebola patients, following an outcry from nurses and other professionals.

Nonprofit providers face alarming market forces, must rally, LeadingAge chairman says

Nonprofit providers face alarming market forces, must rally, ...

Nonprofit long-term care providers must work together to address alarming trends, or their market share could plummet and the sector as a whole could falter, LeadingAge Chairman David Gehm told ...