Dangerous Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Devices
Off-label prescribing practices used by doctors has been a controversial topic since the start of the practice. The practice itself involves a doctor prescribing a medication for anything other than its FDA-approved use. Off-label prescriptions have had some success for many different types of illnesses, however, the longer this practice has persisted, the more problematic it has become. Although the FDA does regulate the testing and approval of prescription medications, it does not regulate how and to whom they are prescribed. Unfortunately, this leaves the potential for patients to take drugs prescribed to them that were not necessarily tested for the use they use it for.
This practice can sometimes be beneficial, especially in cases where all other options have been exhausted. However, in others, it can lead to dangerous side effects and damages. In particular, psychiatric drugs are the most commonly prescribed off label. For example, anti-depressants are used for pain management, and anti-psychotics for ADHD in children. This practice can produce many different results and consequences.
One particular atypical anti-psychotic, Risperdal, is approved for treatment of cases including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism spectrum disorders. Off-label, however, it is used to treat anxiety, ADHD and dementia. Risperdal has been found to cause many unintended and dangerous side effects, according to the website of Williams Kherkher. Risperdal has been shown to cause gynecomastia in boys and an increased risk of death, amongst other things, in the elderly.
When off label medications leave the patient with unintended side effects, they can often be eligible to file a lawsuit. In the case of Risperdal, patients afflicted with its harmful side effects are potentially eligible to file a claim against Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of the drug, according to the website of Williams Kherkher.