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Off-label drugs. The Mayo Clinic reveals what is usually not known about these drugs

Not everyone knows them, but many use them, even if they are not aware that they are off-label drugs. That is, those medicines which in clinical practice are used for different uses (by pathology, population or dosage) from those indicated by the Medicines Agencies. Here you are what is usually not known about them.

22 AUG – If some patients have heard of drugs prescribed 'off-label', ie outside their indication for use, not all those who use them know they do. For this the Mayo Clinic has published in its journal, Mayo Clinics Proceedings, a series of notions, questions and answers on the matter, in order to help patients better understand what these medicines are and why they are used for some pathologies even if according to official use they should be prescribed for others. “We have no power over the decisions of the Food and Drug Administration – he explained Christopher Wittich of Mayo – but we have the ability to educate staff and patients on the use of off-label drugs, so that both the doctors who prescribe them and those who take them know the risks and benefits”.

Here are the highlights of the Work:
– the use of off-label drugs is common. If we consider the most commonly prescribed drugs, about 1 in five are used off-label, but when we consider the population of pediatric patients who have just been discharged from hospitals, the percentage of young patients who use at least one drug outside the indication for use rises to 79%;
– the use of off-label drugs may become the most common treatment for a given condition. For example, some antidepressants are not approved by the FDA as a treatment for neuropathic pain, yet some of these drugs are considered a first choice treatment option;
– an example of a widely used off-label drug is morphine in the treatment of pain in pediatric patients, as well as in children, inhaled bronchodilators, antimicrobials, anticonvulsants,

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Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco