Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I have a prescription of Diazepam (generic for Valium) that one 5 mg dose per day but I only take it once per week if that. I have TMJ, my jaw tightens when I sleep and I tense up, causing muscle aches every now and then in my neck and jaw area. The Diazepam helps relax the area so I can sleep and don't have the pain.

I checked the med when we got home and it's Alprazolam---generic for Xanax. I called our pharmacist who said that it was in the same class as Valium in that they are both benzodiazepines. He told me that Xanax works much faster but the effects don't last as long. The other differences are huge--Xanax tends to be more habit-forming and one 5 mg of Xanax (what she prescribed) is equivalent to 10 mg of Diazepam which is twice my normal dosage! My rule of thumb is to try not to take any more of anything than is necessary. Like food, we have to take meds in moderation.

Our pharmacist checked the system and this is indeed the prescription Dr. K called in and it bothers me that she took it upon herself to change my medication with NO consultation.

This kind of thing is not new with this doctor. One of my friends who is also a coworker has been using the same practice as me for quite some time now. The other day she met the new doc and the doctor told her she was anemic and had to get B-12 shots immediately. Well my friend was alarmed because she has copies of her bloodwork and never was told by any doctor that she needed this. Like me, my friend doesn't want to take anything that isn't absolutely necessary. She called the doctor and left a message and then talked to the nurse practitioner who she also likes and respects as much as I do and the NP could not give her a rave review of the doctor. The NP also confirmed this is not the first time this doctor has done this. My friend and I have talked of getting a new doctor but in this town it is hard to find someone good who is still taking patients. Our practice sees thousands of patients, sometimes they are so overloaded we've waited more than an hour to see the doctor.

I have never met this new doctor and I don't care to. I have chosen to see the nurse practitioner who I've seen for years, because my favorite doctor in that practice moved to South Florida with her husband. Even my favorite nurse left because things got so bad at the practice. I hate to leave the NP that has been so good to me but you've got to have a good doctor in case you are ever admitted to the hospital for something you damn well want a damn good doctor to oversee your care!

So I am not sure how I want to handle this yet but I will handle it. Sorry but I really don't feel comfortable taking the Xanax. The Diazepam leaves me with no side effects and I am not addicted to it (a thirty day supply usually lasts three months!) and I'd rather stick with what works at a minimum dose.

Why in a city full of doctors and three hospitals including a world famous TEACHING HOSPITAL is it so difficult to find a good female doctor who knows her shit and has a great personality and bedside manner?


  1. When I was getting of the Prozac and Darvocet that Dr Ronald Jones had me on for over 10 years, one of the meds that they prescribed was Xanex, because she told me in case of withdrawal from the others, the Xanax works really quickly to calm you down, it also makes you sleepy.
    Then when both were completely out of my system, she put me on Paxil, when it finally kicked in, I stopped taking Xanax. It's all so confusing with these meds. They prescribe them for so many different problems. Now Dr T put me on Lexapro for the anxiety and it seems to be working. But I've noticed after using these types of meds for years, my hair is thinning. I am starting to believe it's not worth this. You know how I am about my hair. It's the only part of me that was good.
    Jeez...what to do.

  2. I almost forgot to tell you. Years ago when we lives in Miami, the doctor who was treating my ulcer prescribed Valium. I was taking it every day for months and your dad was ready to shoot me. He said I was a real witch, personality wise there was no making me happy, I was cranky and miserable. Your aunt also took it for several years, but I don;t remember how she got off it. Just to let you know that it does affect you emotionally. And if there's one thing the females in this family don;t need is anything to affect our emotions....