Monday, February 25, 2008

Off-label use of medications

We often hear the term "off-label" use of medications - but what does it mean?

Drugs that are used according to their approvals are being used on-label. Doctors are prescribing them for illness, disorders, etc, for which the country's licensing body said that they could be used for. Off-label use comes when doctors find out, usually accident, that a certain drug will also help another problem. So, they may be treating problem A with drug XYZ, but then they see that problem B is also cleared up. As more and more doctors find this, the news spreads.

As more documentation happens, the licensing bodies will often agree to the off-label use.

This press release about Avastatin is a good example: Off-Label Avastin Use for Wet Macular Degeneration.

Avastatin is a treatment for various types of cancer. Officially, the on-label indication is for colon and lung cancer, but doctors have been using it off-label for breast, prostate, kidney, head and neck, pancreatic, ovarian, and liver cancers, with very good success.

If it can help millions of people save their eyesight, how amazing is that?

News for today:
America's 50 best hospitals 2008 released by HealthGrades
Do patients with inflammatory bowel disease receive optimal care?
Even moderate fitness levels lower stroke risk: study
FDA Panel OKs 3 New Flu Strains for Next Year's Vaccine


Don't forget to visit Help My Hurt to learn and read about pain-related health issues.

No comments: