Subject: Can a doctor be sued for over prescribing Xanax?
About a year ago my husband went to see a new doctor to get his Zoloft refilled. The doctor also gave him a prescription for 60 Xanax per month. He had my husband sign a form that says the doctor will not be held responsible or sued for any reason. In the last year he has also given my husband Loritabs & Abzena (spelling?) (time released morphine) monthly. Since spring of this year he has had 5 wrecks 2 of the vehicles totalled. He was in detox for a week in June relapsed and in rehab for 3 weeks released and went into rehab & detox again today. My husband told the doctor he was having major problems in July, in October 2004 the doctor refilled the prescriptions again with todays rehab the result.
This is destroying our lives. Can this doctor be held responsible? My husband is 5’8″ about 180 lbs. I think this was way too much medicine. The doctor practices in Louisana if that makes a difference. Thank you for any information you have & for your time. Tina
I don’t know what state or country you live in but generally a doctor can be sued for prescribing an incorrect medication or dosage. Quite frankly, having the patient sign a release before prescribing medication is problematic and in some states may be sufficient for breach of fiduciary duty. I suggest seeing another doctor!
Best of Luck,
Paul D. Friedman, M.A., J.D.
I just noticed you indicated the doctor is in Louisiana. I strongly suggest you contact an attorney in Louisiana as I am quite disturbed by the facts as you indicate them. The physician should not have had your husband sign such a waiver unless it was against medical advice and then the physician probably should have not given the meds. Xanax is a very strong narcotic. Unfortunately, I am not versed on Napoleonic law but I do urge you and your husband to speak to an attorney in Louisiana.
I am sorry to hear about your situation.
Very truly yours,
Paul D. Friedman, M.A., J.D.
It is my belief that this situation would fall under “Duty of Care” (defined below).
Duty of Care per www.thefreedictionary.com:
duty of care n. a requirement that a person act toward others and the public with watchfulness, attention, caution and prudence that a reasonable person in the circumstances would. If a person’s actions do not meet this standard of care, then the acts are considered negligent, and any damages resulting may be claimed in a lawsuit for negligence. (See: negligence, standard of care)
In further research I have found that U.S. law is not explicit in its definition of “duty of care” therefore one must be cautious beforehand. Research prescriptions before you get them filled. This would prevent any unforseen circumstances. Visit blogs and see what others are stating, not just medical journals. Review the facts. Visit our site. Ask your doctor questions. Sometimes the only knowledge they have about a drug is what some sales rep told them when they took him/her out to lunch.
The drug manufacturers are at the point now that even when they are sued for billions of dollars they still make billions in profit. They don’t care about your health, but you should. Take charge!
Alprazolam, also known under the trade names Xanax and Niravam, is a supposedly a short-acting drug (which means it is only supposed to last for a short while, perhaps 3 – 4 hours, but research has proven that these drugs get lodged in your fatty tissues indefinitely without proper detox) of the benzodiazepine class used to treat moderate to severe anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and as an adjunctive treatment for anxiety associated with major depression. It is also available in an extended release form, Xanax XR. Both forms are now available generically.
Xanax (Anti-Anxiety Medication) Side Effects Include:
Acute hyperexcited states
Agranulocytosis (condition affecting white blood cells causing susceptibility to infection)
Epileptic seizures and death have resulted from suddenly stopping
Sertraline hydrochloride (trade names Zoloft, Lustral) is an antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. It was introduced to the market by Pfizer in 1991. Sertraline is primarily used to treat major depression in adult outpatients as well as obsessive-compulsive, panic and social anxiety disorders in both adults and children. In 2007 it was the most prescribed antidepressant on the US retail market, with 29,652,000 prescriptions.
Zoloft (Antidepressant) Side Effects Include:
Akathisia (severe restlessness)
Hypomania (abnormal excitement)
Loss of appetite
Suicidal thoughts or behavior
Withdrawal symptoms include deeper depression
We would be glad to do further research for any psych drug you wish. Leave a comment any time or visit http://www.cchr.org and download their free white paper on the Side Effects of Common Psychiatric Drugs.
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