Acceptable Off-Label Prescriptions

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Consumers Digest interviewed 13 medical experts to determine which medications that are prescribed for off-label use are considered to be the most acceptable, because they believe enough evidence exists to support off-label use. The medications that are listed represent common examples of acceptable off-label prescriptions. We didn’t list brand names for the medications, because they are sold under multiple names, each of which delivers the same benefits, experts say.

Atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol

FDA-approved use: Beta-blockers that are used to treat high blood pressure
Off-label benefit: They are used to prevent migraine headaches.

Indomethacin

FDA-approved use: An anti-inflammatory painkiller for arthritis and bursitis
Off-label benefit: Researchers discovered in the 1970s that this nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent helps to close a common congenital heart defect for newborns that’s known as patent ductus arteriosus.

Paroxetine hydrochloride, sertraline, fluoxetine

FDA-approved use: Treats major depression as well as some anxiety disorders
Off-label benefit: The three selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are considered first-line treatments for premature ejaculation.

Thalidomide

FDA-approved use: For moderate to severe pain in adults
Off-label benefit: Despite its horrific reputation for causing birth defects, it has been found to be an effective treatment for multiple myeloma.