Friday, June 02, 2006

Do you let your doc wing it?

…Dr Welby is pretty long dead and not everyone does whatever the doctor says anymore, not without research, anyway.

…Might this extend to wondering about off-label uses of drugs? Off-label is a use the FDA has not endorsed.

…(HA almost died of a drug being used off-label.)

…People with depression and attention-deficit get seizure medicine, for instance, according to a story by Sandra G. Boodman in the Wash Post (May 23, 2006).

…Some insomniacs get medicine approved for treatment of schizophrenia.

…Estrogen as a way of treating thinning bones was an off-label use.

…A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that a fifth of the prescriptions written in 2001 were for off-label uses.

…73% of these lacked strong scientific backing.

…Backup apparently ranges from good evidence to what amounts to experimentation.

…Some docs are persuaded by industry studies, others by “thought leaders“ among their peers (those would be the big-name docs who speak at conferences all the time).

…Many times, pediatric uses are off-label simply because not much drug testing is done with children.

…You could ask, HA thinks.

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