Objective To assess current experiences and attitudes of hospital based paediatricians towards off-label medicine prescribing. Setting Paediatric hospital wards and out-patient clinics. Design A prospective, questionnaire based study. Results A 30 item questionnaire was sent to 300 hospital based paediatricians and 250 (83%) were returned completed. Over 69% of responders were familiar with the term off-label medicines. However, only 28% were knowingly prescribing off-label medicines to children. The majority of respondents (90%) expressed concerns about the safety and efficacy of off-label medicines. Only 15% had observed Adverse Drug Reactions, and 31% a treatment failure. The vast majority of respondents (83%) did not obtain informed consent or tell parents they were prescribing off label medicines to their children. Conclusions Off-label prescribing of medicines to children is a familiar concept to the majority of paediatricians in Jordan although only a smaller number are aware that it is common in their practice. Respondents showed concern about off label prescribing, although the majority do not consider it necessary to inform parents. More comprehensive research is needed in this area in Jordan and other Middle Eastern countries.
- off-label prescribing