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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 31-36

Off-label drugs use in neurology outpatient department: A prospective study at a tertiary care teaching hospital

1 Department of Pharmacology, Smt. NHL Municipal Medical College, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
2 Department of Neurology, Seth V.S. Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kartik N Shah
Department of Pharmacology, Smt. NHL Municipal Medical College, Ellisbridge, Ahmedabad - 380 006, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/picr.PICR_117_18

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Background: Off-label drug use refers to any use of an approved or cleared drug that is not included in that product's approved labeling or cleared indications for use. It may be in terms of indication, age group, dosage, or route of administration. Off-label drug prescriptions are common neurology practice. Aim: The aim of the study is to evaluate the prevalence pattern of off-label drug use in neurology. Subjects and Methods: A prospective, observational, cross-sectional study was carried out in the neurology outpatient department of tertiary care teaching hospital. Data of patients above 18 years were recorded after obtaining their informed consent. The National Formulary of India (NFI) and British National Formulary (BNF) guidelines were used as tools for evaluation of the prevalence of off-label drug use. Results: A total of 709 drugs were recorded from the prescription data of 205 patients collected in the duration of 2 months. The results reported 145 (20.45%) and 317 (44.71%) drugs as off-label as per the NFI and BNF, respectively. Prescriptions with minimum 1 off-label drug use were 78.05% – BNF and 46.83% – NFI. The indication was one of the most common causes of drugs being off-label. Out of the total 317 off-label drug uses reported, 84 were unlicensed drug use as per the BNF. There is strong and positive correlation established between the age of the patients, number of drugs prescribed, and total off-label drugs prescribed per patient in the given study. The most common off-label drug use noted was with clonazepam and amitriptyline. Conclusion: Off-label prescriptions practice is common in the field of neurology.

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