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One out of five prescriptions are prescribed off-label today, meaning that there is a very good chance the drug your doctor prescribed for you has not been approved for that particular use. So what does this mean? We brought in Joe Graedon to discuss.

Joe Graedon, MS, is a pharmacologist and an adjunct assistant professor in the division of practice advancement and clinical education at University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy at Chapel Hill and founder of The People’s Pharmacy. He has spent decades understanding and reporting on the ins and outs of both prescription and over-the-counter medications.

In this edition of the Bottom Line Advocator Podcast, Joe joins Bottom Line President Sarah Hiner to discuss the common and risky practice of off label drug use.

Topics include:

  • What is off-label prescribing? (2:00 – 3:55)
  • How does a drug becoming FDA-approved? (4:14 – 7:00)
  • Drug companies maneuvering the health-care system (7:55 – 10:05)
  • Dosing sizes, genetic differences (10:10 – 11:40)
  • Off-label and potential side effects, off-label and children, off-label and doctors (11:33 – 14:10)
  • How off-label prescribing has infiltrated US doctors’ offices  14:10 – 22:36
  • Did you know Viagra started as a blood pressure medication? (22:36 –  23:49)
  • Examples of how people can get into trouble with off-label drugs (Amitriptyline, Trazadone) (23:55 – 25:11)
  • Off-label prescribing for premature ejaculation and restless legs syndrome (25:13 – 31:23)
  • The #1 most frequently prescribed off-label drug – (side effects) (31:25 – 33:30)
  • Antidepressant excesses—Joe’s concern about the many off-label uses for anti –depressants (33:05 – 36:38)
  • With so many drugs being prescribed, what do patients do? (39:30 – 45:10)
  • Questions to ask your doctor before accepting a prescription (45:48 – 48:10)
  • What role does insurance play in off-label prescriptions? (48:12 – 51:28)

To learn more about Joe Graedon and his work, visit https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/

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