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Original Articles

Off-Label Use of Antidepressant, Anticonvulsant, and Antipsychotic Medications Among Georgia Medicaid Enrollees in 2001.

Hua Chen, Jaxk H. Reeves, Jack E. Fincham, William K. Kennedy, Jeffrey H. Dorfman, and Bradley C. Martin

Published: June 15, 2006

Article Abstract

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of and factors associated with the off-label use of antidepressant, anticonvulsant, and antipsychotic medications.

Method: A retrospective analysis of Georgia Medicaid recipients was conducted. Recipients prescribed antidepressant, anticonvulsant, or antipsychotic medications were identified. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with off-label use.

Results: A total of 46,976 (75.42%) antidepressant recipients, 38,497 (80.12%) anticonvulsant recipients, and 21,252 (63.62%) antipsychotic recipients received at least 1 of these medications off-label in 2001. The likelihood of receiving off-label medications increased remarkably with advancing age (> = 65 vs. < 65 years: antidepressant: OR = 5.15, 95% CI = 4.76 to 5.56; anticonvulsant: OR = 4.54, 95% CI = 4.16 to 4.96; antipsychotic: OR = 5.21, 95% CI = 4.82 to 5.63). Although receiving new anticonvulsants launched after 1993 was the strongest predictor (OR = 7.63, 95% CI = 7.07 to 8.23) of receiving off-label anticonvulsant medications, exposure to newer antidepressants and antipsychotics did not confer a higher chance of receiving off-label medications (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors vs. tricyclic antidepressants: OR = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.40 to 0.45; atypical vs. conventional antipsychotics: OR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.72 to 0.80).

Conclusions: The off-label use of antidepressant, anticonvulsant, and antipsychotic medications is highly prevalent. Further research to study the effects of off-label use among this high risk subpopulation may be an important step toward defining the scope of and potential for such use.

Volume: 67

Quick Links: Psychopharmacology

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