A team of European researchers has called for greater scrutiny of the off-label use of prescription drugs in children.
The researchers studied prescribing practices in the children's wards of five hospitals in England, Sweden, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. They examined 2262 drug prescriptions that were written for 624 children during a 4-week period in 1998. The researchers found that almost half, or 1036, of the prescriptions were either for drugs not licensed for use in children or were off-label: administered outside the scope of the license in terms of age, dosage, frequency, or intended use of the drug.
Voelker R. Children's Drug Testing Needed. JAMA. 2000;283(6):734. doi:10.1001/jama.283.6.734