Doctor/Pharmacy suddenly treating me very strangely when prescribing/refilling Ativan?

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Sethp
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 78
   Posted 3/8/2012 8:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone

For years I have suffered terribly with a combination of anxiety, panic disorder and OCD. I also have a great deal of stress in my life. For about 5 years I have been on Ativan which helps but doesn't always aleviate the symptoms (especially when they get really severe). I have always taken my Ativan as prescribed and when I ran out, I would go back to the doctor and ask for a refill. I have never "upped" my dosage or taken them recreationally, etc. The Ativan was never a problem although the doctor would sometimes suggest that I might want to try an anti-depressant (which have never helped me and have only caused lots of side effects).

Recently, I read a lot of good things about Valium and since the Ativan seemed to have lost it's affect over time I went in and asked if I could be changed over and was simply told "no problem". The next day I started on the Valium and it did nothing for me except make me feel even worse so I stopped using it and went back to the same doctor at a later date and asked to be switched back over to the Ativan again. I already kind of supected that having asked for the switch and then coming in "too early" for the next refill and asking to be switched back to the Ativan again might cause some issues but after a fair amount of questions about meds, side effects, various anti-depressants being suggested, etc the doctor finally just asked me if there was anything else he could do for me.

At that point I just started telling him about the various ways in which anxiety had affected my life and expected that to be that but it was at this point that the doctor's demeanor completely changed and he practically shouted at me "you have anxiety!" (life he didn't already know this after 5 years of seeing me?). He then kept repeating that the Ativan wasn't a cure (I knew this already) and that I was just going to have to go home and suffer for the rest of my life with anxiety because I wasn't getting any more Ativan from him and then he asked me if I had ever taken Effexor before. I told him that I had taken it many years ago and had a really bad reaction (which I most certainly did) but he turned right around and prescribed it to me anyway!. When I reminded him that I had told him about the bad reaction I had had to the Effexor he got really angry and told me to "take the Effexor!". I left his office and walked into the lobby and as I was sitting there waiting, he pops around the corner and very sternly says "Take the Effexor!" again and "I want to see you in a month!" (I never see him that often).

I left the clinic shocked and bewildered wondering what had gone wrong and why (after all these years of seeing him) I was suddenly being treated so differently. I also began tapering which made my anxiety (and/or withdrawal) even worse at a time when my anxiety was already sky-high. The next day I called the pharmacy and asked if my prescriptions were ready to pick up. This doctor had gone ahead and written me a prescription for Ativan anyway (but a no refills this time) as well as prescriptions for several other medications (for my stomach, blood pressure, etc). The pharmacy told me that they were all ready to be picked up except the Ativan. I asked her if she could fill the one for Ativan (or maybe she asked me if I wanted her to fill it - I don't remember). Anyway, she sounded kind of hesitant..."different"...over the phone and I was thinking to myself "what is going on here?". So a few hours later I arrived to pick up my refills and for the first time ever, she asks me for photo ID. I've been going there for nearly 15 years and have never been asked for that before so I was REALLY wondering what was going on at this point.

So, I provided her with my ID but I asked her what this was all about and she indicated that it was a new law that went into affect on the first of January 2012 (thats funny because I sure wasn't asked for ID in Februrary of this year when I picked up the Valium!). At first I thought "ok, no big deal" but then when I arrived home I got curious and did some research as late as February 2012 and found that no such law exists but that if a pharmacy becomes suspicious they can ask for ID so I just automatically assumed that she thought I was "suspicious". Shortly afterwards my anxiety went into full gear and my imagination started conjuring up all sorts of horrible things. I imagined being put on some sort of "black list" or profiled as an "abuser" (which I am definately NOT). I imagined my whole life being put under a microscope and getting visits from people I have never met before wanting to just ask me a few "questions". Anyway, I'm sure many of you already know how anxiety/OCD can make your mind conjure up all kinds of thoughts but in today's society and the often scary world we live in, you never know what might be going on behind the scenes.

I really do apologize for the length of this message. It was supposed to be short and quick but turned into a novel. Anyway, What just happened to me with all of these stange events recently and what do you folks make of all this?. Have any of you ever encountered anything like this before yourselves?. Should I be worried or am I just being paranoid?. Honestly, I feel like in just a matter of a few days I've already been judged, profiled and put on some black list of "abusers" as if I was some sort of criminal when I am nothing more than an anxiety-ravaged soul being treated for an often debilitating disorder. Getting treated for my anxiety was never an issue for years and now suddenly all of this...really strange.

Thanks so MUCH for any input! - Seth

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/9/2012 9:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Good Morning Seth,
 
I am going to post a link to a thread of yours where you stated you were using methods that were not healthy to try to feel " relaxed" .
 
 
I suspect something red flagged your pharmacy re your use of benzos and it could have been knowing that you have both Valium and Ativan.  As for your Dr., it truly sounds like he has your best interest at heart and continuing to prescribed Ativan for your anxiety after 5 years he is feeling it is time for you to try other methods to deal with your anxiety.
 
Have you ever been to therapy for your anxiety disorder ?  You may want to look into using all the tools available to help you accept you have anxiety and no amount of benzo is going to cure this disorder.  I believe there is a place for medications in dealing with mental health disorders but we also have to work at learning new coping techniques.
 
I know you are feeling angry and bitter right now but please do make the decision to accept you have anxiety and it does not have you.   You will get better.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
 
 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."~ Vivian Greene

Post Edited (stkitt) : 3/9/2012 9:12:57 AM (GMT-7)


Sethp
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 78
   Posted 3/9/2012 11:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the response!. I really appreciate it. I guess my next question is...assuming my doctor, myself and/or the pharmacy I use has now been red-flagged and/or is suddenly being monitored or added to some sort of database, what does this all mean for me?.

What I mean is that most people might simply look at this and not give it a second though but because I suffer from severe anxiety, OCD and panic disorder, the situation becomes greatly magnified in my mind to the point where I'm now running scenarios through my mind involving knocks at the door at 3:00 in the morning, people bugging my house and all manner of other sinister thoughts with plenty of paranoia mixed in.

It's really incredible how I've blown this up in my mind and gotten myself worked up into a paranoid frenzy. All because I happen to suffer from an anxiety disorder and am being treated for it with a particular drug and because (I assume) I asked for a switch and/or came in too early for a refill.

Anyway, I guess the meat and potatoes of the whole thing is what does it mean for me if in fact I am suddenly being watched/monitored or in some database?. Should I be concerned or am I being overly paranoid?. I just want to know what I'm up against.

Thanks again, Seth

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/9/2012 12:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Only the pharmacy and your Dr. would be involved as you are protected by the HIPPA privacy law. The Dr. cannot talk to anyone about your medical condition.   If you have a legal prescription from your Dr. the pharmacy should filled it.  It may be as simple as they asked for I.D. because you came back for Ativan after just filling a Rx for Valium.  However I am assuming that they filled your med.  Also when someone treats you "strange"  please do just ask them outright - Is there a problem ?
 
I do not think you have to fear that anyone is going to knock on your door in the middle of the night. 
 
Actually, it is the Drs. who are monitored by our state and if they are prescribing to many narcotics etc they may be called upon to explain why they give their patients large amounts of narcotics or any controlled substance. One of the reason's a Dr. may be flagged would be a complaint filed by someone re their prescribing practices. 
 
When doctors are authorized by the DEA to prescribe controlled substances they are issued a number by the DEA.  There is actually a mathematical equation hidden in the numbers that pharmacists can use to make sure it is a valid DEA number. All states require it to be written on a controlled substance script to be filled, some doctors forget, others leave it off on purpose so the pharmacist will verify the script (this ensures people dont change the quantity or add refills, etc.).
 
I don't see you in prison garb soon so big breath and work with your Dr.   :-)
 
Kindly,
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."~ Vivian Greene

UniversityMan
New Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/7/2012 6:48 PM (GMT -6)   
You have been flagged by the pharmacy. It doesn't matter if the doctor has changed your prescriptions or not. If the pharmacist deems that you are taking too many scheduled drugs, they will flag you. It is happening to a lot of people. It can take up to 7 years from each incident in order to clear the record.

Because you filled two scheduled drugs within a certain amount of time, the system automatically flagged you. And it doesn't matter where the prescription came from. Its kind of like a credit score. Once you have so many pills on hand, the system automatically says that you have the potential for abuse.

Your doctor is powerless to change it. Welcome to the DEA's abusive Prescription drug monitoring program. The doctor now has to decide weather or not to risk an investigation or continue treating you. It sounds like he has decided to treat you, but now has to show through documentation that either you are a drug addict and abused him, or that you are seeking a treatment toward effectively managing your anxiety through alternative means. Meaning, the scheduled drugs are for short term use only. This is an FDA/DEA recommendation. Unless you have been deemed incapacitated by your anxiety by a shrink. Your doctor is not specialized enough to warrant such a diagnosis, and thus has been brought to the attention of the DEA by prescribing to you an abnormal amount of scheduled drugs.

From now on, if you decide to change a schedule drug, don't EVER do it within the amount of time you are supposed to run out of that said prescription. In retrospect, if you had decided that the valium wasn't working, you should have waited until it was time for a refill, before you decided to change. Like i said, it doesn't matter one bit whether the doctor changed it and you aren't going to take the rest, they ASSUME you are going to take all the drugs. That being said, it is already too late. I would see a shrink asap to get a real diagnosis. He can prescribe to you the meds, if you need them.

The prescription drug monitoring programs are very flawed, I suggest you contact your senator.

DonnaWood1917
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/19/2013 6:29 PM (GMT -6)   
OMG, I had a similar problem with my pharmacy, not doctor, he agreed to change me over from Lorazapam 1mg's to Ativan 1 mg's, same dosage 150 tabs, but I had to move up to a 30 day cycle from a 25 day cycle that I've maintained for 15 years! I started in 1993 on Valium, then in 1996, my doctor at the time, a gastro doctor, put me on Ativan, which had just come out and you know how they are with using other drugs for other ailments, and my gastro was so retro and ahead of the times, that he let me have the Ativan for 12 years, same doctor. Then in 2004, he switched me over to generic Lorazapam, and at that time, it did the trick for my ailments.

I was on that for almost 10 years until 4 months ago when I noticed a manufacturer change in who put out the Lorazapam, and I was concerned because I started having symptoms and and ailments were a bit acute, so when my cycle was done, I asked my doctor to change me over to Ativan! I called my health provider and they told me it was okay, and covered, and I called my perscription service as well and they said FINE! But for some reason, I decided to get the Ativan at another Pharmacy, not a different one, the same pharmacy, but another outlet 10 blocks to my south, rather than the usual one I used. So i didn't change pharmacy's, I changed the one I wen too. Same company.

I made contact 1 week before I was supposed to up to Ativan, with the manager at the new pharmacy outlet I decided to go to. She said "no problem" with the Ativan. I also filled other medicines with no problems or red flags. When I went to pick up the 3 perscriptions, I was told I could not get the Ativan, they did not have it on hand! But I worked it all out with manager there, and I wasn't changing pharmacies, I was just going to this one because I work on this side of town now, and it would be easier for me to come to this pharamacy and get my medicines.

They chomped at the bit, but said, "Oh, there's some available at the other pharmacy you go to. I said, "But I wanted to fill it with you!" They said, "Well, we don't have it, so call them and get it from them, but here is your other medicines!" I left and went to the other pharmacy and sure enough, they had it for me. But not really! I get home and it's only 30 and is a pre fill!!!! I called, and got the run around "No Worries, you can get the rest on Weds! IS that okay?" I'm like "Ummmm, OK". Then 3 days pass and I want the whole script. I paid 50 bucks and get 30 and I wanted the rest. So I called my health provider and asked for their help. They called pharmacy and pharmacy said I never came back to get them, they lied out right!!!!!!

Finally, I got the manager at the original pharmacy I go to and she said for sure they had the rest and to come in. I did and got it. I went upto 30 days, and when 30 days was over, I got a new perscription from my doctor for the same Ativan. Went to Pharmacy and they gave me prefill again, and more weirdness. So I complained again, and finally got the full script a day later. The third time last month, I got it seamless finally, no problems, just called and reminded them about it, to order it, the whole 150! So I went in, got it no problems. Now it's due again, and I had to call again and they were starting to give me some problems, but in the end, after wrangling with them, they said it will be here for me.

So the next day I called and for sure they said, "It's in, you can get it on June 23!" I still feel they will not give it to me, and they do act very strange with me on that med! It works, but my question is: WOULD THE PHARMACY GIVE ME FAKE MEDS saying IT IS ATIVAN? Like maybe a sugar pill or placebo, or fake Ativan!!!! Would they give it to me. Some dissolve easily, and others seem to get chunky and sometimes I don't quite feel it, and sometimes I do. So what gives? Why this weirdness?????

SoulNHealing
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 6/19/2013 9:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Truth is Ativan&Xanax are drugs/control substanc a legal drug given but has to last full 30 days&if shorter then those days,the pharmcy don't have to give to you if they see sign that you maybe a threat to yourself. Most psyc doctors will not evenwrite a prescription for them,they are hard to come off up&where I live even the Er will not give them out easy. Have to be real messed up for a ER doctor to give them truth I pray you soon can find a med that will help.

DonnaWood1917
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/19/2013 10:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I have found a med that works SoulNPain ATIVAN 1 mg's. They help like no other. I also take Tramadol HCL 50 MG's to 100 MGS per day, and wear an Estrogen patch like Angelina Jolie will have too when she finally gets her full hysterectomy. I also have Arthritis, and Secondary Anxiety disorder, and ongoing Colitis, and have been in hospital 7 times for the colitis, and the Ativan calms my colon and mind, and also helps intestines loosen up and so I don't need a separate med for constipation! Just the Ativan. And because I went back to the brand, I've been able to dose down 2 mg's, from 6.5 down to 4.5 now, and the Tramadol from 150 mg's per day down to 75 per day! Not bad for one pill that the pharmacy is reluctant to give me. It works, and if I'm without it for even 12 hours, I can get pretty weird. But otherwise I'm fine with what I get. i'll go thru the protocol I have to so I can get it. I'm not getting any younger and ailments pile up, I saw my grandma, mom, and now me, I see my cousin, my aunt and my brothers all going down in mid fifties and they don't even take many drugs. So I'm just padding myself and trying to deal with it with one drug, not 5! LOL, thanks.
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