What to do if I was prescribed an antidepressant by a doctor without a formal psychological evaluation being done?

UPDATED: Mar 31, 2013

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What to do if I was prescribed an antidepressant by a doctor without a formal psychological evaluation being done?

The medication triggered a hypomanic episode which cost me my wife and $15k. The medicine was prescribed roughly 14 months ago, the hypomanic episode took place about 12 months ago (lasting 2-3 months), and I just found out I’m bipolar II (and should never have been prescribed an antidepressant for this very reason) less than a month ago (after 6 months of weekly therapy and formal psych evals). Is there any legal action I can take in this situation?

Asked on March 31, 2013 under Malpractice Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether it would be against current accepted medical standards to prescribe an anti-depressant without a formal pyschological evaluation. If it was, then the doctor may have committed malpractice and you may be able to sue to recover at least some of your losses. On the other hand, if it would be considered reasonable or acceptable for the doctor to prescribe without a more formal evaluation or more tests, then he did nothing wrong--malpractice is when the doctor is careless, not merely when the patient suffers some bad reaction or injury, since the law accepts that doctors and medicine are not perfect, and bad results sometimes occur even when everything is done correctly.

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