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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Indiana
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    3

    Default Accused of Abusing Prescription Drugs by a Doctor

    My question involves malpractice in the state of: Indiana

    I was taken off Valium cold turkey (C/T) by a psychiatrist on the behavioral health floor of our local hospital that I had only see the one time on the 2nd of April. At the time, I thought I was doing the right thing by taking my medications with me so I didn't have to regurgitate them by memory in my capacity. I was gathered up and taken to see the resident psychiatrist. I no sooner got into his office and seated that he began to berate me about my "addiction". Honestly had no idea what he was talking about. He accused me of having larger than allotted amounts of Valium in my system. I told him that wasn't possible. He said I was accusing him of being a liar. He then went on to say that I was "doctor shopping" with 2 different doses of Valium prescribed by two separate doctors. I began to try to explain to him that the psychiatrist prescribing the 10s and 2mgs retired. I had run out of the 2s before finding a psychiatrist that I felt was a good match, so my GP prescribed me the 2s in the mean time. He cut me off and would not even listen. He then told me that I was "50% responsible" for the "malpractice" that was going on. Once again I tried to explain myself only to be cut off. He said it all stopped that day. He was confiscating my medications and doing away with the Valium, Savella, Abilify and Flexerial. He left me on Cymbalta and Neurontin. I was released the following day without any guidance as to who to turn to for help or knowledge as to what to expect in this whole process. I knew nothing of withdrawal or what I was in store for.

    On the 21st of April, I began to experience weakness in my right side. By the afternoon I thought I would try and lay down for a nap hoping that would remedy some of the weak feeling I was having. I laid down and no sooner had I got comfortable a sharp, burning, stabbing pain shot through my right eye. It was pain like I had never felt before. As if I was being stabbed by a hot poker in the eye. I sat up and that relieved some of the pain but, only now, I had tunnel vision out of that eye. So, I went downstairs into the living room and sat on the couch. At this time, I was still feeling weak, but could still move. After sitting for what seemed like hours, my boys came home. By this time, I could not move the right side at all. I feared I was having a stroke. Ambulance ride to the ER. Everything in the ER happened so fast. My blood pressure was 200/122. They gave me IV medication to slowly bring it down. Then they gave me TPA via IV and transported me by ambulance to another hospital where I was in the ICU for 2 days and on the stroke floor for observation a day for good measure. Results: Was not a stroke but rather a rapid onset of a cluster headache. Something I had not had before. Am now on Topamax. Was this episode a direct correlation to being taken off the Valium cold turkey or just a fluke? I have yet to find a medical professional willing to answer that question.

    I was released on the 24th of April and was scheduled to see my Neurologist on the 26th. I have been a patient of hers for over 6 years now. She comes into the exam room. We exchange the normal nice nice. She goes to the computer and starts to ask what happened, then she stops. She turns to me and asks, "You have a drug problem?":. I said no. She points to the computer and says it's not what the computer is telling her. She walks over to the door, opens it ... and walks out. Leaves me in the exam room. The nurse comes back after awhile and tells me that any questions I have, I will have to take them up with my GP. I was mortified!!

    Made an appointment to see my GP that very day. He actually seen me and talked to me. I asked him how I could get the "patient abusing drugs per Dr. White in BHU" off my medical records. He advised that I get myself a good attorney. I don't even know where to begin with this. Will this have an affect on my disability? Some may be asking what the big deal is. And the big deal ... I did NOT abuse the medication I was prescribed. I took it responsibly and as directed. I don't know that any of this really constitutes malpractice however, I wasn't sure where to actually post.

    I'm sorry this is so long and thank you so much for reading this far! Any advice/ guidance would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Accused of Abusing Prescrption Drugs by a Doctor

    Quote Quoting ZenCricket
    View Post
    My question involves malpractice in the state of: Indiana

    Then they gave me TPA via IV and transported me by ambulance to another hospital where I was in the ICU for 2 days and on the stroke floor for observation a day for good measure. Results: Was not a stroke but rather a rapid onset of a cluster headache. Something I had not had before. Am now on Topamax. Was this episode a direct correlation to being taken off the Valium cold turkey or just a fluke? I have yet to find a medical professional willing to answer that question.
    The administration of a TPA is not something medical personnel decide lightly. A TPA can be a very powerful blood clot busting drug with serious associated risks. There is about a 6% chance of bleeding into the brain after the administration of a TPA and of that 6% there is about a 50% fatality rate. For cluster headaches, the most common treatment is the administration of Triptans which are serotonin agonists. These two drugs are very different and have unrelated side effects. They gave you a TPA because you claim you were experiencing weakness and paralysis on one side of your body which isn't something associated with cluster headaches but more commonly strokes. As you are not claiming that the administration of the TPA is the result of an incorrect diagnosis which lead to adverse side effects, I presume you are not looking for recourse due a potentially incorrect diagnosis of your initial condition and subsequent medical treatment.

    Your question seems to be whether being taken off an opiate derivative such as Valium could cause either a cluster headache or a stroke.

    Major headaches can be caused by opiate withdrawal symptoms. The same applies to a rise in blood pressure. A stroke isn't "caused" by a rise in blood pressure but high blood pressure can lead to a lack of blood flow in your brain which can then lead to cell death (ischemic) , or the bursting of a blood vessel in which case blood hemorrhages into the brain or in the area surrounding it. High blood pressure can also certainly cause cluster headaches although cluster headaches in general are not very well understood yet.

    You could argue that the doctor who took you off your Valium medication caused the rise in blood pressure which caused the incident you suffered. Do you have a recorded history of high blood pressure? If you do, it could be reasonable to infer that the the sudden withdrawl of your opiates medications could exacerbate your high blood pressure condition and that a medication to keep you blood pressure in check should have been prescribed. Assuming that the doctor could have inferred that you would suffer a stroke as a result of a high blood pressure condition alone is not reasonable however. If you do not have a recorded history of high pressure then your potential for recourse looks even worse. Your argument then would be similar to saying that if you got into an argument with someone, and the arguing with that person caused your blood pressure to rise which lead to a stroke, that said person's arguing was the reason for your incident and therefore said person was responsible. Neither the doctor nor the person arguing with you would have had a way of knowing that their actions could cause you to sustain any sort of injury. It is doubtful you have recourse under Indiana torte law. You can always consult an attorney in your state specializing in medical malpractice however.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Accused of Abusing Prescrption Drugs by a Doctor

    I do have a recorded history of high blood pressure. Was on two different types of blood pressure medications at the time the Valium was taken away.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Accused of Abusing Prescrption Drugs by a Doctor

    I am not too familiar with all the blood pressure medications out there right now.
    Of the medications you mention in the OP that were taken away from you, are some for blood pressure?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Accused of Abusing Prescrption Drugs by a Doctor

    No. None were for blood pressure.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Accused of Abusing Prescrption Drugs by a Doctor

    Then I would say that you are not likely to prevail in claiming that your incident was a result of malpractice.
    Consulting with an attorney is still an option to consider however.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    3,175

    Default Re: Accused of Abusing Prescrption Drugs by a Doctor

    Valium is not an opiate derivative, but it can be addictive. Valium and other Benzodiazepines aren't used often due to the fact that they can be highly addictive. I can understand why your dr had the attitude that she did when she saw that you had had two different prescriptions filled written by two different drs for Valium. Just so you are prepared, the chances are good that this will cause you problems in the future when it comes to Valium and certain other types of drugs that you might need.

    I don't understand about how you came in contact with the psychiatrist on the mental health floor. Were you admitted ? Was it a regular appointment ? Was a urine test done ? Did you have all of your medication bottles with you, including the 10 mg and 2 mg Valium ? Drs, pharmacists and certain others, can view a patients prescription drug history in the state Prescription Monitoring Program Database. You having two prescriptions for Valium written by two different drs is a red flag for drug abuse/addiction. When someone abuses drugs, they accept responsibility of what abusing those drugs might do to them and what might happen if they lose their access to them. But, even if you could prove that you weren't abusing the Valium, the dr taking you off of it doesn't rise to medical malpractice. The dr in the ER giving you TPA also doesn't rise to medical malpractice. You or a family member were infomed of the possible side effects of TPA before it is given. With no history of your blood pressure being high enough for long enough to require prior treatment with meds to lower it, there is no way that any dr could have forseen possible b/p problems. Even if you had been on b/p meds, that does not mean that what the drs did rises to the level of medical malpractice.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Accused of Abusing Prescription Drugs by a Doctor

    Quote Quoting ZenCricket
    View Post
    He accused me of having larger than allotted amounts of Valium in my system.
    Do your medical records support this?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    in alto mare
    Posts
    1,123

    Default Re: Accused of Abusing Prescrption Drugs by a Doctor

    Quote Quoting Victory VI
    View Post
    The administration of a TPA is not something medical personnel decide lightly. A TPA can be a very powerful blood clot busting drug with serious associated risks. There is about a 6% chance of bleeding into the brain after the administration of a TPA and of that 6% there is about a 50% fatality rate. For cluster headaches, the most common treatment is the administration of Triptans which are serotonin agonists. These two drugs are very different and have unrelated side effects. They gave you a TPA because you claim you were experiencing weakness and paralysis on one side of your body which isn't something associated with cluster headaches but more commonly strokes. As you are not claiming that the administration of the TPA is the result of an incorrect diagnosis which lead to adverse side effects, I presume you are not looking for recourse due a potentially incorrect diagnosis of your initial condition and subsequent medical treatment.

    Your question seems to be whether being taken off an opiate derivative such as Valium could cause either a cluster headache or a stroke.

    Major headaches can be caused by opiate withdrawal symptoms. The same applies to a rise in blood pressure. A stroke isn't "caused" by a rise in blood pressure but high blood pressure can lead to a lack of blood flow in your brain which can then lead to cell death (ischemic) , or the bursting of a blood vessel in which case blood hemorrhages into the brain or in the area surrounding it. High blood pressure can also certainly cause cluster headaches although cluster headaches in general are not very well understood yet.

    You could argue that the doctor who took you off your Valium medication caused the rise in blood pressure which caused the incident you suffered. Do you have a recorded history of high blood pressure? If you do, it could be reasonable to infer that the the sudden withdrawl of your opiates medications could exacerbate your high blood pressure condition and that a medication to keep you blood pressure in check should have been prescribed. Assuming that the doctor could have inferred that you would suffer a stroke as a result of a high blood pressure condition alone is not reasonable however. If you do not have a recorded history of high pressure then your potential for recourse looks even worse. Your argument then would be similar to saying that if you got into an argument with someone, and the arguing with that person caused your blood pressure to rise which lead to a stroke, that said person's arguing was the reason for your incident and therefore said person was responsible. Neither the doctor nor the person arguing with you would have had a way of knowing that their actions could cause you to sustain any sort of injury. It is doubtful you have recourse under Indiana torte law. You can always consult an attorney in your state specializing in medical malpractice however.
    Valium is a benzodiazepine- not an opiate.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Accused of Abusing Prescrption Drugs by a Doctor

    Victory apparently gained his experience by learning under Dr. Emeritus.

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