PRESCRIBING FOR CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
Off-label prescribing is when a physician gives you a drug that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved to treat a condition different than your condition. This practice is legal and common. In fact, one in five prescriptions written today are for off-label use.
—Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Psychotropic drugs are commonly used for children and adolescents to treat mental health disorders, yet many of these drugs are not FDA approved for use in these populations. Thus, their use is considered “off-label,” and it is often up to the best judgment of the prescribing clinician. As a PMHNP, you will need to apply the best available information and research on pharmacological treatments for children in order to safely and effectively treat child and adolescent patients. Sometimes this will come in the form of formal studies and approvals for drugs in children. Other times you may need to extrapolate from research or treatment guidelines on drugs in adults. Each individual patient case will need to be considered independently and each treatment considered from a risk assessment standpoint.
THE ASSIGNMENT (1–2 PAGES)
- Recommend one FDA-approved drug, one off-label drug, and one nonpharmacological intervention for treating your assigned disorder (EATING DISORDER) in children and adolescents.
- Explain the risk assessment you would use to inform your treatment decision making. What are the risks and benefits of the FDA-approved medicine? What are the risks and benefits of the off-label drug?
- Explain whether clinical practice guidelines exist for this disorder and, if so, use them to justify your recommendations. If not, explain what information you would need to take into consideration.
- Support your reasoning with at least three scholarly resources, NO MORE THAN 5YEARS PUBISHED, one each on the FDA-approved drug, the off-label, and a non-medication intervention for that disorder