Can I sue my general practitioner for causing me to get serotonin syndrome by over prescribing prozac resulting in my hospitalization?

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Can I sue my general practitioner for causing me to get serotonin syndrome by over prescribing prozac resulting in my hospitalization?

Asked on August 28, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In order to prove medical malpractice, 2 things must be proved 1 that due a doctor's negligence 2 their patient suffered harm. Whether or not an injury was suffered is somewhat easier to prove. However, proving negligence can be more difficult becausee it's not always quite as clear.
In a medical malpractice, the claim of negligence centers on whether or not the doctor in question breached what is know as the applicable "medical standard of care". This essentially means that under the same conditions/circumstances, would a doctor with similar training in the same medical community have identified the problem and offered the same treatment?
At this point, you should speak directly with a local personal injury attorney such a consultation is typically free.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you can show that the syndrome was the result of the prozac prescription and also that it was professionally negligent, or careless, to have prescribed the amount of prozac that he did, then you may have a viable lawsuit. That last point is very important for a doctor to have committed malpractice, he must have done something which, based on the evidence, symptoms, test results, etc. he was aware of at the time, was careless or against then-current medical standards. If the average reasonable doctor would have prescribed the amount of prozac that this doctor did, then the doctor did nothing wrong and would not be liable, even if there was an unfortunate outcome for you. Only if the doctor is negligent or careless might be liable.
To prove liability, you'll need expert testimony from at least one other doctor that the prozac was overprescribed--have other doctors told you that it was overprescribed? Or do you have some other credible reason to think it was overprescribed? If you do, then you should consult with a medical malpractice attorney about the situation, to see if you have a viable claim, what it might be worth, and what it would cost to pursue the claim.


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