The next time your doctor writes you a prescription, consider this: The medication may not be approved for your specific condition or age group.
But you probably shouldn't call the medical board. The practice, called "off-label" prescribing, is entirely legal and very common. More than one in five outpatient prescriptions written in the U.S. are for off-label therapies.
"Off-label" means the medication is being used in a manner not specified in the FDA's approved packaging label, or insert. Every...
Medicine interactions. These happen when two or more medicines
or herbal supplements mix in a person's body and cause a bad reaction. The
symptoms can be severe and may be wrongly diagnosed as a new illness.
Medicine-food interactions. These happen when
medicines react with food. Some drugs work best when you take them with food,
but others should be taken on an empty stomach. Some medicine-food interactions
can cause serious symptoms.
If you take too much of a medicine, it may trigger an adverse reaction. This can especially be a problem for people of small size and older adults. Sometimes the typical adult dose is too much for these people. Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
Long-term use of some medicines can lead to dependency. You may have a severe
reaction if you stop taking the medicine all at once. Find out from your doctor if a medicine may be addictive. To learn more,
see the topic
Alcohol and Drug Problems.
Decision Points are designed to guide you through key
health decisions, combining medical information with your personal information
to make a wise health decision. For help in learning the pros and cons of certain medicines, see a list of Decision Points About Medicines.