Off label drug use in pediatrics


Offlabel drug use in pediatrics

Whileadministering of off label drugs to children is by far and largeincorrect and ways of curbing their usage demanding a review, certainsituations call for such prescriptions. Children seeking obstetricassistance normally get the drugs, as they are few in the market dueto their low nature in demand. On the other hand, children who oftensuffer recurrent convulsions are left with no option as there has tobe drugs on standby at all times to suppress those convulsions(Mayhew, 2009). While curbing and treating terminal illnesses such ascancer, off label drugs come in handy with intent of containingadverse situations.

Inextreme cases of a very sick child, the off label drugs may come asthe only available option for saving the child’s life. Cases ofrare diseases with rare symptoms may also arise exposing the childrento the off label drugs while aiming at testing their function ability(Mayhew, 2009). These drugs also come in handy in situations where achild’s body has become accustomed to other types of drugs, whichseem not to work any longer. The drugs ought to be administered tochildren suffering from life threatening ailments that appear asemergencies such as heart failure.

Offlabel drugs should be made safer by doing extensive research in themedical laboratories prior to their usage. Before administering themto children, it is of importance that the drugs be tested andapproved fit for administering (Bazzano et al., 2009). Strictmeasures ought to be upheld by medical practitioners with intent ofavoiding abuse of the drugs. Hence, they should be used when direneed arises. With precise bias to off label drugs administered toinfants for treating diarrhea, medics need take extra caution whileadministering such drugs (Arcangelo &amp Peterson, 2013). This iswith respect to the tender age of the patients who happen to have aweaker immune system. By so doing, it would prevent instances ofchildren succumbing to diarrhea, which can be curbed by usingapproved drugs. It is clear that over 70% of the pediatric drugs areoff label drugs. This is an indication that there needs extensiveresearch and testing of these drugs with children to enhance thesafety of children patients. It is also essential for thepediatricians to ensure that they do not assume that children aresmall adults and therefore they can simply give drugs prescribed foradults in small dosages to children.

Thereare various pediatric off-label drugs which require extra and specialcare when being used for children. One specific off-label drug is theFluoxetine&nbspwhich the US Food and Drug administration have warnedthat it increases suicidal thoughts (Arcangelo &amp Peterson, 2013).This is a drug that nurses mostly prescribe for depression withoutconsidering the risk factors that are involved of the childcommitting suicide. Another off label drug antibiotic chloramphenicolhas been criticized widely, after it caused deaths of babies whoseunderdeveloped livers could not process the antibiotic (Arcangelo &ampPeterson, 2013). This is a drug that was give as an alternative topenicillin. Another example that is an off label drug for childrenbelow the age of 12 years is the albuterol. This is yet another drugthat is controversial and nurses prescribe it without the approval ofthe FDA.


Arcangelo,V. P., &amp Peterson, A. M. (Eds.). (2013). Pharmacotherapeuticsfor advanced practice: A practical approach (3rd Ed.).Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams &amp Wilkins.&nbsp

Mayhew,M. (2009). Off-label prescribing. TheJournal for Nurse Practitioners,5(2), 122–123.&nbsp Retrieved from the Walden Librarydatabases.

Bazzano,A. T, Mangione-Smith, R., Schonlau, M., Suttorp, M. J., &amp Brook,R. H. (2009). Off- label prescribing to children in the United Statesoutpatient setting. AcademicPediatrics, 9(2), 81–88.&nbspRetrieved from Walden Library databases.