Latest edition of Australian Prescriber out now


The December 2013 edition of Australian Prescriber is out now and looks at the following issues:

Off-label prescribing

Professor Richard Day from the University of NSW and St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney explains that ‘off-label’ prescribing occurs when a drug is prescribed for an indication, a route of administration, or a patient group that is not included in the approved product information. He explains that it doesn’t necessarily mean that the Therapeutic Goods Administration has rejected the indication. There are many scenarios of off-label prescribing, especially prescribing for pregnant women or children. There is no legal impediment to prescribing off label, writes Professor Day, however the onus is on the prescriber to defend their prescription for an indication that is not listed in the product information.

Drug treatment for anxiety

Dr Lisa Lampe from the University of Sydney provides a summary of the treatment options for anxiety. These include self-help options such as web-based programs, as well as pharmacotherapy. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors are the drugs of first choice for anxiety. Dr Lampe also looks at the efficacy of other drug treatments for anxiety. She writes that the response to treatment for anxiety is generally slower than in depression. If a patient does not respond to treatment, the first step is to review the diagnosis and any recent changes in their medications.

Top 10 drugs

The annual list of Top 10 drugs includes lists of the top subsidised drugs in Australia for July 2012 – June 2013, by defined daily dose per 1000 population per day, by prescription count, and by cost to government. Atorvastatin, a statin, tops each list, with proton pump inhibitors, pain relievers, ACE inhibitors, diabetes, asthma and blood pressure medicines also appearing in the list of top 10 drugs by number of prescriptions.

Other articles in this edition of Australian Prescriber include:

Other diabetes-related articles on the website this month (published Online First) are:

To read the full articles and more visit


Australian Prescriber is an independent peer-reviewed journal providing critical commentary on therapeutic topics for health professionals, particularly doctors in general practice. It is published every two months and distributed to health professionals free of charge, and is also available online at 

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