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Christen Wiese
Christen Wiese
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SSRIs prescribed to patients for off-label use

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In 2005 a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that SSRIs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Paxil, Lexapro, Prozac and Zolfoft are often prescribed for treatments not approved by the FDA.This then exposes the consumer to the side effects that has not been tested for their condition. For example, patients have been prescribed SSRI’s for pain, shyness, dementia and restless leg sydrome. Doctors can also prescribe these drugs to a population of society that it is not recommeded to be given to. For instance, the elderly, toddlers and pregnant women.

The findings that SSRI’s could cause suicidality and a multitude of others problems such as withdrawal symptoms, birth defects, a decrease in bone density, fertility problems and sexual dysfunction is not new news. Hundreds of SSRI related lawsuites have been settled out of court. Recently because of the incresing number of questions and law suites arising from the problems made by SSRIS, the public is looking deeper into the seriousness of side effect, especially suicidality and birth defects and the reasons that patients are prescribed.

Could it be that the drug makers withhold or omit information that is pertinent to the doctors decision in prescribing the drug? The importance of sticking to the FDA approved label rather than veering from it and prescribing it to off-label patients for off-label reasons will become increasing concern as more of these questions arise.