Faculty Articles

Title

Off-Label Prescribing for Children with Migraines in U.S. Ambulatory Care Settings

ISBN or ISSN

2376-1032

Publication Title

Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy

Volume

23

Issue

3

Date of original Performance / Presentation

3-2017

First Page

382

Last Page

387

Publisher

Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy

DOI Number

10.18553/jmcp.2017.23.3.382

Abstract

Background: Migraines, Which Affect About 10% Of School-Age Children In The United States, Can Significantly Impair Quality Of Life. Despite Potential Disability, Many Children Do Not Receive Treatment Or Prophylaxis, Since Medications Specifically Approved For Children Are Significantly Less Than For Adults. There Is Also Controversy Surrounding The Apparent Widespread Practice Of Prescribing Off-Label Medications For Children With Migraines. However, Little Research Has Been Done To Identify Physician-Prescribing Patterns Of Migraine Medication For Children.

Objective: To Investigate The Prevalence And Pattern Of Off-Label Prescribing For Children With Migraines.

Methods: A Secondary Data Analysis Was Conducted Using The Pooled National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (Namcs) 2011 And 2012. Patients Aged 17 Years Or Younger With A Migraine Diagnosis Were Included. A Series Of Weighted Descriptive Analyses Were Used To Estimate The Prevalence Of Migraine Drugs Prescribed During Pediatric Office Visits. A Weighted Logistic Regression Was Constructed To Compare The Prescribing Patterns Between Off-Label And Fda-Approved Medications. Analyses Used Sas 9.4 Methodology And Incorporated Sample Weights To Adjust For The Complex Sampling Design Employed By Namcs.

Results: Of The 12.9 Million Outpatient Visits With A Migraine Diagnosis That Took Place Between 2010 And 2012, 1.2 Million Were Pediatric Visits. Females Accounted For Nearly Twice The Number Of Migraine Visits Than Males (66% Vs. 34%). Children Aged 12-17 Years Accounted For The Highest Frequency Of Visits (84%), Compared With Those Aged Under 12 Years (16%). 66.7% Of These Pediatric Patients Received At Least 1 Migraine Drug. Of These, Off-Label Medications Were Prescribed 1.5 Times More Than Fda-Approved Medications For Children (60.34% Vs. 39.65%). The Results Of Logistic Regression Showed A Significant Likelihood Of Prescribing Off-Label Medications Based On Physician Specialty, Patient Race, And Reason For Visit. Neurologists (Or = 0.028, P < 0.05) And Pediatricians (Or = 0.095, P < 0.05) Were Less Likely To Prescribe Off-Label Drugs Than General And Family Practitioners. Visits For Preventive Care (Or = 5.8, P < 0.05) And Flare-Ups From Chronic Migraines (Or = 5.0, P < 0.05) Were More Likely To Result In Off-Label Drug Prescriptions Than Visits For New Migraine Incidence.

Conclusions: This Study Provides Significant Real-World Evidence Of The Widespread Practice Of Prescribing Off-Label Drugs To Children With Migraines. Although Medical Literature Shows That Off-Label Prescribing May Not Be Harmful, There Is A Dearth Of Research And Practice Guidelines To Help Practitioners Uphold Safety Standards And Ensure The Prescription Of Age-Appropriate Medications To Children.

DISCLOSURES: No outside funding supported this study. The authors report no potential conflicts of interest relevant to this research.

Lai and Ting contributed to study concept and design and collected the data, along with the other authors. Data interpretation was performed by Lai, Koh, Obi, Ho, and Ting. The manuscript was written and revised by Lai, Koh, and Ho, with assistance from Ting and Obi.

Disciplines

Medicine and Health Sciences | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Keywords

medications, migraines, quality of life, school-age children, United States

Peer Reviewed

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