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Illness & Conditions - Definition

Unlabeled Use

Unlabeled Use

An unlabeled use of a drug is when a doctor prescribes a medicine for a purpose other than that for which it has been specifically designed and approved. Sometimes a drug is prescribed for a specific unlabeled use so often that doctors consider it a common practice.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves drugs for specific uses.

Last Revised: March 9, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Theresa O'Young, PharmD - Clinical Pharmacy

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