Adverse reaction prescription stronger than my symptoms

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Adverse reaction prescription stronger than my symptoms

Hello my primary care physician prescribed me a medication that was stronger than
I needed based on my symptoms. As a result I then had an severe adverse reaction
to the medication which caused me to the emergency room I called my Dr’s
emergency hotline and was told my reaction was dangerous and I needed to go
straight to the emergency room. The ER Doctors informed me that my Dr never
should have prescribed me the medication because I only had nausea and this was a
drug to treat schizophrenia which I dont have and nausea.

As a result I now have bills for a couple thousand dollars from that ER visit,
after insurance. Should I reach out to my Dr or the Medical company for
reimbursement on this issue. If so how?

Asked on April 11, 2016 under Personal Injury, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The doctor *may* be liable: it depends on whether the doctors you consulted with in the ER were correct, and this is not a drug that should ever have been prescribed to you; or if based on the symptoms you related or showed to your primary physcian, this drug was a not unreasonable choice, one that other doctors may have prescribed, even if in this case, it worked out poorly for you.
Doctors are liable essentially only when their prescriptions, treatment, etc. is not medically reasonable--that is, it is negligent or careless, and no reasonable doctor would have done or prescribed that. But if there was a range of treatment options and this was one acceptable option, then the doctor was most likely not liable.
Assuming the ER doctors were right, then your doctor may have committed malpractice. However, if he won't voluntarily pay for your ER costs--which you can initially pursue by either yourself, or through a lawyer, asking him to pay and providing an explanation/evidence of why he should pay--it may be cost prohibitive to purse the claim. A malpractice case requires a medical expert witness, who can easily cost $1,000 to $3,000 between examining you, doing research, writing a report, and testifying. Since cases are never guaranteed to win, you could--even without factoring in attorneys fees--spend a great deal on the case only to not recover anything; or to recover little more than you spent.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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