Off-label prescriptions for U.S. kids rise

More and more children are receiving off-label medications.

A new study reported in the journal Pediatrics says it's happening in almost 20 per cent of office visits.

And it's been rising over the past 10 years.

That means more kids are being prescribed drugs for conditions, age, or weight not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Those include respiratory infections, asthma, and mental health problems.

In neonates under 30 days old, drugs to treat gastrointestinal conditions are the most commonly prescribed off-label drugs, while antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed off-label drugs in adolescents ages 12-17.

Although the process is legal, there's always a risk for harmful side effects.

In recent years, there's been a strong push to increase clinical drug trials of medications for children.

But there's still a lack of scientific data for many commonly used drugs.
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