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"Off-Label" Use of Antipsychotic Drugs for Some Conditions Not Supported By Evidence
Date:9/27/2011

ts who suffer from psychiatric conditions have found these drugs to be very helpful," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "However, their off-label use, while in some cases beneficial, is of concern because we just don't know enough about their effectiveness and safety for multiple behavioral conditions.  This report will give clinicians and patients additional information they can use to make the best possible decisions."

Antipsychotic drugs are commonly divided into two classes, reflecting two waves of development: conventional (or "first generation") and atypical (or "second generation"). Currently, nine atypical antipsychotic drugs have been approved by the FDA: aripiprazole, asenapine, clozapine, iloperidone, olanzapine, paliperidone, quetiapine, risperidone and ziprasidone.

The report's authors also cautioned against assuming that all atypical antipsychotic drugs are similar, because they vary in effectiveness and side effects.

The report, Off-Label Use of Atypical Antipsychotics: An Update, is the latest comparative effectiveness review from AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program. The Effective Health Care Program helps patients, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others choose the most effective treatments by sponsoring the development of evidence reports and technology assessments to assist public- and private-sector organizations in their efforts to improve the quality of health care in the United States. More information about the program can be found at http://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov.


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SOURCE Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
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