When your child is sick, getting her the right medication makes all the difference. At the same time, parents worry about side effects. That’s why it may come as a surprise to learn that some prescription drugs–certain asthma medications, for instance–haven’t even been tested on kids. There’s nothing illegal or reckless about this; any drug that’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for adults can be given to kids. The practice is called off-label prescription, and it’s common.
According to Parenting Twins And More, the problem is that children are not little adults; their growing bodies metabolize drugs differently. With this in mind, in August 1997, President Clinton proposed a rule that would require any new prescription drug intended for children to be tested on children. But drug companies are fighting the proposal, claiming it would slow down the approval of lifesaving drugs.