Off-label use of prescription drugs was associated with adverse drug events in a study of patients in Canada, especially off-label use lacking strong scientific evidence, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Off-label prescribing of drugs is common and has been identified as a potentially important contributor to preventable adverse drug events (ADEs).

Tewodros Eguale, MD, PhD, of McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and now of MCPHS University (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences), Boston, and coauthors looked at the off-label use of prescription drugs and its effect on ADEs in 46,021 patients who received 151,305 prescribed drugs from primary care clinics in Quebec, Canada.

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