Pain-Pill Guidelines for Children Spark a Fierce Debate – Wall Street Journal

Maya Nelson, a 17-year-old with sickle cell anemia, has been hospitalized more than 60 times. Because her pain sometimes feels like being stabbed by a knife, her doctors periodically prescribe OxyContin, a painkiller she has taken since she was about 11.

Like other pediatric patients, Maya was taking OxyContin even though it wasn’t approved for children—an authorized practice known as off-label use. The drug has allowed her to avoid…