Journal article
Off-label Medications Use in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia: The Views of General Practitioners, Pediatricians, and Other Specialists

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Publication Details
Author list: Zainab AbuAlsaud, Dhfer Alshayban, Royes Joseph, Faheem Hyder Pottoo and Jisha Myalil Lucca
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)
Publication year: 2020
Journal: Hospital Pharmacy
Journal name in source: Hospital Pharmacy
Volume number: 55
Issue number: 1
Start page: 37
End page: 43
Number of pages: 7
ISSN: 0018-5787
Web of Science ID: 000506537200005
PubMed ID: 31983765
Scopus ID: 85059354192
eISSN: 1945-1253

Background: Off-label drug prescribing remains a major pediatric health concern worldwide. The lack of studies in this vulnerable population causes many practitioners to prescribe drugs outside their license. This study aims to investigate and compare the current knowledge and views of general practitioners, pediatricians, and other specialists toward off-label pediatric prescribing. Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional–based study conducted on a random sample of physicians who work in three different hospitals in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Results: Data were obtained from three hospitals, comprising a total of 160 practitioners. Overall, more than half of the participated practitioners (54%) were familiar with the definition of off-label prescribing. Thirty percentage of participated practitioners agreed that more than 10% of their prescribed medicines to children were off-labeled. A majority of participants expressed concerns over the efficacy (83%) and safety (92%) of off-label prescribing to children. Importantly, a noticeable proportion of the responders claimed that they sometimes observed an adverse drug reaction (n = 23; 20%) or treatment failure (n = 43; 37%) following off-label prescribing medicines to children. Only 46% participants have always informed the parents or guardian about the off-label prescription of medications to their children. Conclusion: A Large number of physicians are familiar with the concept of off-label prescribing of medicines to children in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Safety and efficacy are the main concerns of prescribing such medications. Policies toward improving pediatric clinical research and supporting the safety and efficacy of the drugs should be encouraged.

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Efficacy, pediatrics, physicians, prescribing

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Last updated on 2020-30-03 at 09:17

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