Assignment; NUR 6521 Assignment: Off-Label Drug Use in Pediatrics

Assignment; NUR 6521 Assignment: Off-Label Drug Use in Pediatrics

Assignment; NUR 6521 Assignment: Off-Label Drug Use in Pediatrics

NUR 6521 Week 11

Off-label medications are drugs unapproved for use in treating conditions. Healthcare providers often prescribe patients off-label drugs for treating conditions, which do not have approved medications. The use of these drugs is most common among the pediatric patients. Safety and quality issues are the most concerns when prescribing patients off-label drugs. Therefore, this paper focuses on the circumstances under which children should be prescribed off-label medications and strategies to make off-label use and dosage safer for children from infancy to adolescence.

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Circumstances

One of the circumstances that may lead to children being prescribed off-label medications is their lack of response to approved medications. The use of approved drugs in treating pediatric conditions may result in suboptimal outcomes. As a result, practitioners and physicians may shift to the use of off-label drugs. The other circumstance that may lead to the use of off-label drugs is when the existing evidence from high-quality studies supports the use of unapproved medications (Rusz et al., 2021; Yackey & Stanley, 2019). For example, high-quality randomized controlled trials focusing on unapproved drug may produce consistent results of drug effectiveness, safety, and efficiency in improving outcomes in the treatment of pediatric conditions.

Strategies

One of the strategies to ensure safety in dosage and use of off-label drugs among children is by incorporating inter-professional collaboration in their prescription. Healthcare providers should collaborate in making treatment decisions to minimize the risk of harm and optimize outcomes such as safety and quality. Secondly, prescribers should rely on the use of clinical guidelines when recommending the use of off-label drugs. The guidelines provide insights into the recommended dosages and combinations for use in managing pediatric conditions. The last strategy is patient and family education and close follow-up. Patient and family education will enhance the safe use of the off-label drugs and minimize the risk of harm from inappropriate drug use. Some of the drugs that require extra attention when used in pediatrics include bupivacaine, a local analgesic, tacrolimus, an immune system suppressant, and fentanyl, a synthetic opioid (Meng et al., 2022).

Conclusion

The use of off-label medications is common in pediatrics. Some of the circumstances that lead to their use include the lack of approved medications and poor response to approved medications. Strategies to promote safety in the use of these drugs should be adopted in practice.

References

Meng, M., Zhou, Q., Lei, W., Tian, M., Wang, P., Liu, Y., Sun, Y., Chen, Y., & Li, Q. (2022). Recommendations on Off-Label Drug Use in Pediatric Guidelines. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 13, 892574. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2022.892574

Rusz, C.-M., Ősz, B.-E., Jîtcă, G., Miklos, A., Bătrînu, M.-G., & Imre, S. (2021). Off-Label Medication: From a Simple Concept to Complex Practical Aspects. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(19), Article 19. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910447

Yackey, K., & Stanley, R. (2019). Off-Label Prescribing in Children Remains High: A Call for Prioritized Research. Pediatrics, 144(4), e20191571. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2019-1571

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The unapproved use of approved drugs, also called off-label use, with children is quite common. This is because pediatric dosage guidelines are typically unavailable, since very few drugs have been specifically researched and tested with children.

When treating children, prescribers often adjust dosages approved for adults to accommodate a child’s weight. However, children are not just “smaller” adults. Adults and children process and respond to drugs differently in their absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion.

Children even respond differently during stages from infancy to adolescence. This poses potential safety concerns when prescribing drugs to pediatric patients. As an advanced practice nurse, you have to be aware of safety implications of the off-label use of drugs with this patient group.

Write a 1-page narrative in APA format that addresses the following:

  • Explain the circumstances under which children should be prescribed drugs for off-label use. Be specific and provide examples.
  • Describe strategies to make the off-label use and dosage of drugs safer for children from infancy to adolescence. Include descriptions and names of off-label drugs that require extra care and attention when used in pediatrics.

Resources :

  • Rosenthal, L. D., & Burchum, J. R. (2021). Lehne’s pharmacotherapeutics for advanced practice nurses and physician assistants (2nd ed.) St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
    • Chapter 9, “Drug Therapy in Pediatric Patients” (pp. 58—60)

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