A peek inside the FDA’s black box warning labels

Today’s Los Angeles Times has a feature analyzing the FDA’s so-called “black box” warning labels — and why some risky drugs receive them while others don’t.

The article specifically poses this question:

Cipro and the similar antibiotics are given the agency’s strictest black box warning label, while epilepsy drugs Lyrica, Depakote and Topamax may have escaped. Why?

There’s nothing earthshaking in the piece — the FDA’s decisions are presented as more or less appropriate — but for those interested in how the FDA does its job, it’s a worthwhile procedural. The story is accompanied by a glossary of drug regulation terms.

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Comments (1)

I just found out I was taking a “black Box” antibiotic for laryngitis. There was nothing on the label to warn me, and the doctor didn’t make me aware of what he was perscribing. Why are these practices allowed? Why are these drugs so readily available?

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