off-la·​bel ˈȯf-ˌlā-bəl How to pronounce off-label (audio)
: of, relating to, or being a drug used to treat a condition for which it has not been officially approved

Examples of off-label in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But it is also often used off-label for breast cancer prevention. Laura Hensley, Verywell Health, 29 Nov. 2023 The medication — taken by injection in the thigh, stomach or arm — is FDA-approved to treat Type 2 diabetes, but many have used it off-label for weight loss. Vanessa Etienne, Peoplemag, 28 Nov. 2023 Ten years ago, after a clinical trial showed convincingly that the drug could prevent breast cancer, U.S. oncologists began prescribing it off-label. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, 13 Nov. 2023 The Hims website, for example, promotes off-label use of the antidepressant Zoloft (sertraline) for premature ejaculation. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, 2 Nov. 2023 Here are the risks associated with compound drugs like ketamine, why some healthcare providers may prescribe ketamine off-label, and how experts predict the drug will impact future mental health care. Kaitlin Sullivan, Health, 21 Oct. 2023 Doctors can still prescribe it for weight loss as an off-label medication. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 25 Sep. 2023 They have long been used in patients with diabetes, but their long-term effects aren’t well established in patients with obesity or those who use them off-label for weight loss. Madison Muller, Fortune, 5 Oct. 2023 While these are not specifically approved for use in the jawline, many injectors do use them off-label to sculpt this area. Petra Guglielmetti, Glamour, 18 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'off-label.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1987, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of off-label was in 1987

Dictionary Entries Near off-label

Cite this Entry

“Off-label.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


off-la·​bel ˌȯf-ˌlā-bəl How to pronounce off-label (audio)
: of, relating to, or being an approved drug legally prescribed or a medical device legally used by a physician for a purpose (as the treatment of children or of a certain disease or condition) for which it has not been specifically approved (as by the United States Food and Drug Administration)
the off-label use of oral contraceptives to treat dysmenorrhea
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!