Your doctor may prescribe a medication that has not been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for use in children, especially if your child suffers from anxiety, depression, or another mental illness. Read on to know what this means.
Understanding the TGA Approval
Before a new medicine may be sold or prescribed, firms conduct a series of tests to ensure that it is safe and effective. The Therapeutic Goods Administration only approves the for the specific application that the firm intended and for a specific patient group. A may be licensed for one or more diseases, an age range, a problem, or a health condition.
Doctors can decide whether a medicine is appropriate for another patient after it has been approved by the TGA for one purpose. It is referred to as prescribing medicines “off-label.” The term “off-label” refers to when a medication’s label shows what the TGA has approved it for.
Off-label prescribing of medications is rather widespread. Many off-label usages are safe and beneficial, according to most clinicians. However, the TGA may never approve some of these applications. When a medicine is approved for one use, the manufacturer often does not try to have it approved for another. The procedure is extremely expensive.
Doctors can make these decisions with the support of ongoing study into how a works for unapproved purposes. Often, manufacturers do not do this research. Other scientists and clinicians who wish to learn more about how a works do it. Other scientists examine the work and determine whether it is of high quality.
Identifying Real-Life Examples
What does this mean for parents and caregivers of psychiatric medication-administered children? Consider the following two medications:
- ADHD stimulant medicines
- Antidepressant are used to treat depression and anxiety
Most people with ADHD are diagnosed and treated when they are in their youth or adolescence. Pharmaceutical companies work hard to get their approved for that age range. However, some persons with ADHD continue to be affected well into adulthood. While medications used to treat it are being studied, many ADHD medications are still not TGA-approved for adults.
Does this imply that the are not safe or effective? No, it is not true. It means that doctors who prescribe to adults must use their medical skills to determine if a prescription will help symptoms and must keep track of the medicine’s side effects. All should be handled in this manner by doctors.
Many antidepressants that have been approved by the TGA for use in adults have not been approved for use in children and adolescents. These are effective in treating depression, anxiety, traumatic stress, and OCD. There is a lot of evidence that they can benefit kids with these issues as well.
However, they are not TGA-approved for children. Again, a doctor must rely on his or her knowledge and experience to determine whether these could be useful in treating a child’s psychiatric problem.
Recognising the Effects of Unapproved Medicine on Children
When prescribing off-label to a child, doctors must consider the child’s body weight and developmental stage. This is exactly what a doctor would do with a prescription . However, without clearance, the label lacks clear directions. The doctor is reliant on his or her education and the expertise of other doctors.
Knowing What and When to Ask
If your child is taking an off-label medicine to address a psychiatric issue, make sure the doctor can explain why.
The doctor should also discuss the potential adverse effects and what he or she expects to occur. You should also enquire about how long your child will be on the , as with any . You can also enquire about how long the medication has been on the market and whether any red flags have ever been raised.
One advantage of pharmaceuticals that have been TGA-approved for a certain application (even if it is not what you are using it for) is that makers are compelled to report any adverse reactions to the TGA. This information is available on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods’ website.
Doctors and patients both can report negative events. As a result, the TGA is always monitoring these . If there is an issue, actions can be taken to prevent them from being sold.
More on Unapproved Medication!
There are still some pharmaceuticals that the TGA has never approved for any application. These medications should not be taken by anyone. We do not know enough about a medication that hasn’t gone through the TGA clearance process to know if it is safe.
Other items, such as supplements and homeopathic medicines, do not require TGA approval because they are not considered “.” If you want to use something like this to treat your child’s difficulties, you should consult a trained specialist.
Be on the Lookout for All Things TGA
The good news is that there is more study being done on the use of in children, even if it is not leading to TGA approval. Companies may be under no need to obtain authorisation for new usage. Independent scientists conducting clinical studies to improve child care are responsible for much of this research. This study provides clinicians with valuable information on which may be beneficial to children with psychiatric disorders.
Keep in mind that TGA approval provides scientists and doctors with a wealth of information about a pharmaceutical, including information unrelated to the use for which it is being studied. And even if the doctor is prescribing off-label, every prescription provided by a good doctor is TGA-approved. For more questions, head on to our website for answers.