What’s Off-Label Medicine and Why Should You Care?

Bottom Line: Remember the most recent drug commercial you watched? The list of possible side-effects and complications often include everything from diarrhea to death. Believe it or not, all of those crazy ‘side-effects’ and increased risks are to be expected from the drug when properly prescribed for the purpose it was approved for. That’s called an “on label” prescription. A drug prescribed “on-label” means that it has been FDA approved to treat a specific condition. When a drug is prescribed “off-label” that means your doctor has chosen to prescribe the drug for a condition the FDA has not approved to be prescribed for. Off-label prescriptions do not have FDA approval for the condition they are being prescribed for and that often increases your risk of even greater side effects and potential of early death. Over 9 Million Spinal Injections are Given Each Year Off-Label

Why it Matters: Did you know over 9 million epidural steroid injections are given each year? That’s over 25,000 every day. What many people don’t know is the use of spinal injections for pain has never been FDA approved. As a matter of fact, you may be surprised to learn that nearly all medications prescribed by medical doctors are prescribed off-label at some point. You might be asking is Chiropractic care FDA approved? Nope, the FDA has not approved chiropractic care because  chiropractic care is a natural form of hands on care and not a food or drug. However, prestigious organizations such as the American Pain Society and American College of Physicians have reviewed the data and researched the evidence and both support the use of chiropractic as a safe and effective healthcare choice!

Next Steps: Part of being smart with your healthcare is weighing the risks and benefits. Just another friendly reminder from your smart chiropractor with the research that matters. Thanks for being smart and sharing this week’s Research That Matters with the people you care about.

Science Source:

Spinal Manipulation Postepidural Injection for Lumbar and Cervical Radiculopathy: A Retrospective Case Series

Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. September 2004. Volume 27. Number 7

Symptomatic MRI-Confirmed Lumbar Disk Herniation Patients: A Comparative Effectiveness Prospective Observational Study of 2 Age- and Sex-Matched Cohorts Treated with Either High-Velocity, Low Amplitude

Spinal Manipulative Therapy or Imaging-Guided Lumbar Nerve Root Injections.

 Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 2013 May; 36(4):218-25

A Retrospective Analysis of Vertebral Body Fractures Following Epidural Steroid Injections.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, Volume 95, Issue 11 (2013, Jun 05;95(11):961-964)