Is a type of warning that appears on the package insert for prescription drugs that may cause serious adverse effects. It is so named for the black border that usually surrounds the text of the warning.
A black box warning means that medical studies indicate that the drug carries a significant risk of serious or even life-threatening adverse effects. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can require a pharmaceutical company to place a black box warning on the labeling of a prescription drug, or in literature describing it. It is the strongest warning that the FDA requires.
The agency is directing manufacturers to add a “black box” warning to the health professional labeling of all antidepressant medications to describe this risk and emphasize the need for close monitoring of patients started on these medications. FDA has also determined that a Patient Medication Guide (MedGuide), which will be given to patients receiving the drugs to advise them of the risk and precautions that can be taken, is appropriate, and is in the process of developing one.