Did you know doctors can prescribe a medication to treat a condition that the medication is not approved to treat? This legal and common practice is known as off-label prescribing. Taking an off-label drug in many cases can be beneficial but is not without risks. Find out if your prescriptions are off-label and what questions you should ask.

Off-label prescribing is the legal use of drugs to treat a condition or disease not specified on the FDA-approved packaging label or medication insert. The medication insert (the sheet that is typically stapled to your medication bag) contains information about warnings, side effects, and usage which lists the disease or condition the drug is approved to treat.

Virginia Aparicio is Health and Human Science educator with Purdue Extension Elkhart County. She can be reached at 574-533-0554 or vaparici@purdue.edu.

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