When pharmaceutical manufacturers seek approval to market their products from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, they seek approval for very specific uses of those products. For example, the manufacturer of the drug Topamax sought approval to market this drug for use in preventing migraine headaches and treating seizures. These approved uses are printed on the drug’s label and may legally be referenced in marketing campaigns aimed at both physicians and the general public.
However, it seems that Topamax may have another useful function. Professional analysis conducted several years ago strongly suggests that Topamax may aid addicted individuals in battling their dependence on alcohol. This use of Topamax is not explicitly approved by the FDA, therefore it cannot be marketed to the public. However, physicians can prescribe Topamax for this so-called “off-label” use to patients they believe could benefit from the drug.