Drugs for off-label use and dosage are prescribed to various patient populations, including infants, children, adolescents, young adults, and geriatrics. This discussion focuses on the prescription of drugs for off-label use and dosage for children.
Under specific circumstances, drugs for off-label use are prescribed for treating depressive symptoms in children. The first circumstance under which these drugs are prescribed is when FDA-proven antidepressants for treating other mental disorders in children are used in managing depressive symptoms in this patient population. For instance, The FDA has approved the SNRI duloxetine as an effective and safe treatment for GAD in children between 7 and 17 years with no other approved uses (Dwyer & Bloch, 2019). However, duloxetine is prescribed as an off-label drug for managing depressive symptoms in children between 7 and 17 years diagnosed with depression. In another circumstance, FDA-approved treatment for depression in adults can be used as a drug for off-label use for managing depressive symptoms in children. For instance, Amitriptyline is FDA approved drug for treating depression in adults (Farias et al., 2020). Nonetheless, Amitriptyline can be used as a drug for off-label use and dosage in managing depressive symptoms in children. The safety of drugs for off-label use and dosage that are prescribed to children, ranging from infants to adolescents can be enhanced by considering the client’s age. According to Rieder (2019), ensuring the right dosage when prescribed age-related drugs reduce the risk of adverse drug reaction. Extra care is required when prescribing mirtazapine as a drug for off-label use and dosage in children. Hedna et al. (2021) reported that mirtazapine is associated with higher suicide rates than other antidepressants.
Dwyer, J. B., & Bloch, M. H. (2019). Antidepressants for pediatric patients. Current Psychiatry, 18(9), 26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6738970/
Farias, Á. D. D., Eberle, L., Amador, T. A., & Pizzol, T. D. S. D. (2020). Comparing the efficacy and safety of duloxetine and amitriptyline in the treatment of fibromyalgia: an overview of systematic reviews. Advances in Rheumatology, 60.
Hedna, K., Fastbom, J., Erlangsen, A., & Waern, M. (2021). Antidepressant use and suicide rates in adults aged 75 and above: a Swedish nationwide cohort study. Frontiers in public health, 9, 611559. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.611559
Rieder, M. (2019). Adverse drug reactions in children: pediatric pharmacy and drug safety. The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 24(1), 4-9. DOI: 10.5863/1551-6776-24.1.4
Write a 1-page narrative in APA format that
addresses the following: (please stay within one
page, your references can be on a separate page)
Explain the circumstances under which
children should be prescribed drugs for off-
label use. Be specific and provide
Describe strategies to make the off-label use
and dosage of drugs safer for children from
infancy to adolescence. Include descriptions
and names of off-label drugs that require
extra care and attention when used in Pediatric