Friday, April 22, 2011
The mind of the confused patient
I have decided that when doctors go through medical school, they take special classes designed to 'help' their patients. There must be a special class on how to confuse patients. Sometimes I leave the doctor's office and think, wait, what the heck am I supposed do? I am confused.
Now I really know most doctors mean well and are highly trained and have the patient's best interest at heart but sometimes I think they are there to drive me crazy.
My latest doctor interaction is leading me to question my doctor's thought process. I am on Savella for back pain. This was prescribed by my back pain doctor - Dr. G. Previously I was on Cymbalta and Lyrica for back pain and nerve pain but they also treated my depression. So I went back to my psychiatrist, Dr. S., for a new anti depressant and she put me on Celexa. Well, what do you know but there is a serious warning on the interaction between the two which can cause serotonin syndrome that requires a trip to the ER and can lead to death.
The pharmacy doctor tried to explain this to her. She said no, one of her colleagues had a patient on both and they should be fine. She claims that they don't see the big picture. I went back to see her this week and told her I was not comfortable being on two drugs that have interactions and other doctors are telling me not to take together. She agreed finally with me that if I was not happy she would switch me to another drug. She switched me to Wellbutrin so I followed my normal logic and went home and looked it up. If I take Savella and Wellbutrin together there is a major interaction risk of brain seizures.
I think there are two issues here on medications. Dr. S thinks I can take two drugs together because they work differently - serotonin vs other chemicals. I can understand this. Two drugs that aren't the same can be taken at the same time because they work differently. But she is not looking at the drug interactions. I am surprised that the computerized medical records don't show the interactions. What really bothers me is she doesn't think the pharmacy doctors look at the big picture. She is the one that isn't looking at the whole picture.
I am not sure what I am going to do. I can go back to my therapist who referred her to me a few years ago and get a different doctor who is going to check the interactions not just how the drugs work. Or I can just call her and tell her I don't like the way Wellbutrin makes me feel. I am leaning toward voting with my feet and finding a new doctor.