Off-label use of atypical antipsychotics do more harm than good
There are growing concerns that more antipsychotic drugs are prescribed by
more physicians without regard to lawful indications and obvious toxic effects.
"According to Alexander and colleagues in the February 2011 issue of
Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, the estimated use of atypical
antipsychotic medications for off-label indications, or without approval from
the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has rapidly increased. Commonly
prescribed atypical antipsychotic medications include quetiapine, risperidone,
aripiprazole, olanzapine, asenapine, clozapine, iloperidone, paliperidone, and
ziprasidone This systematic review and meta-analysis by Maher and colleagues
assesses the efficacy and safety of atypical antipsychotic medication use for
off-label indications of dementia, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in adults. (Deborah Brauser, Penny Murata.
Few Benefits, Significant Adverse Effects Linked With Off-Label Atypical Use.
Medscape Education Clinical Briefs 10/05/2011.) Off-label prescriptions are used
to treat conditions such as dementia, anxiety, OCD, eating disorders, substance
abuse, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Children and Senior are tow vulnerable
populations that receive the most ill-advised prescriptions for antipsychotics.
Further Reading See
Avoid Antipsychotic Drugs Children
Avoid Antipsychotic Drugs Seniors
Based on a meta- analysis of 231 large observational studies were assessed
adverse events and included at least 1000 patients each.
JAMA. 2011; 306:1359-1369.
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