Off-label prescribing (OLP) may raise serious safety concerns that traditional spontaneous reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) may not identify in a timely manner. In France, the ‘Multidisciplinary Consultation Service for Off-Label Prescribing in Addiction Medicine’ (CAMTEA) is a proactive regional system established to identify ADRs associated with the OLP of baclofen for alcohol dependence.
The aim was to demonstrate, using the French pharmacovigilance database (FPVD), that CAMTEA allowed for the reporting of a substantial amount of ADRs, comparable in nature to those provided via spontaneous reporting.
The 2012–2013 FPVD notifications associated with baclofen OLP were extracted. The ten most frequent types of ADRs among ‘serious’ and ‘non-serious’ reports were listed. The frequency of each type of ADR was compared between CAMTEA and spontaneous reporting, and the magnitudes of the differences were assessed using standardized differences.
A total of 428 baclofen reports (1043 ADRs) were identified, among which 221 (51.64%) originated from CAMTEA. The ten most frequent ADRs in ‘serious’ reports were (1) confusion (17.3%), (2) seizures (11.5%), (3) drowsiness/sedation (11.5%), (4) agitation (10.9%), (5) coma (9.6%), (6) hallucinations (7.7%), (7) falls (7.1%), (8) behavioral disorders (5.8%), (9) withdrawal syndrome (5.1%), and (10) space–time disorientation (5.1%). A standardized difference of <0.2 was identified for six out of the ten most frequent ‘serious’ ADRs, and eight of the ten ‘non-serious’ ADRs.
A proactive regional pharmacovigilance system could collect a substantial amount of safety data on a specific OLP practice. The profile of the ADRs collected was similar to that seen in the nationwide spontaneous reporting system.