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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
*side eye* 
13th-Sep-2011 04:24 pm
Starfire/Huh? Wtf?
Reality check: Is it reasonable for me to have a moment of internal WTFery at this exchange?

Neurologist's receptionist/assistant/office person, I don't know, I didn't ask: "And what medication are you on?"

Me: "Gabitril."

Her: "Neurontin?"

Me: "...no, Gabitril."

Her: "That's not the generic of Neurontin?"

Me: "No, you're thinking of gabapentin. Gabitril is tiagabine."

Her: "You're sure?"

Me: "I promise."

I mean, okay, not everyone has the encyclopedic knowledge of anticonvulsants that I have, but a) lady, you work for a neurologist, and b) why so insistent? Not that it even matters, because you are not the person who can answer my question about my medication anyway.

I dunno, I always double-check myself because I know that I know more than most people. But also, most people don't work for a neurologist. Neurontin is really commonly prescribed, though. I hope it's just that she's new.
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13th-Sep-2011 08:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, gabapentin is prescribed like candy. Top 200 for 2009. (In pharmacy school, we focused on the top 200 our first year. Then we had to learn all the weird ones.)
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13th-Sep-2011 08:59 pm (UTC)
Those numbers don't surprise me, both because of diabetic neuropathy and shingles (most prevalent in...the elderly), and because I've seen the way doctors prescribe it. It seems to work for a lot of non-specific nerve pain (as you know from fibro), and its worst side effect seems to be drowsiness, so doctors try it on a lot of patients first, especially since it's gone generic.
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14th-Sep-2011 01:16 am (UTC)
Heh. I have fibro (among too many other things) and neuropathy (from no known source, it's just, dammit, here). I'm on gabapentin for it. When I wanted to lower the dose, three or four years ago? Oh lord. It doesn't seem to do anything else for me, but makes a big difference in the whole neuropathic fiery-pain/pins&needles/numbness thing.
13th-Sep-2011 08:42 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'd say your reaction is about right... although to be fair I suppose she could just be having a no-brain moment and defaulted to the commonest drug.
13th-Sep-2011 08:43 pm (UTC)
I can accept one "did you mean X medication" but to be so insistent is weird.
13th-Sep-2011 08:53 pm (UTC)
agreed that the insistence is weird. I get that most people who work in a dr's office/are a medical professional know more about health and prescriptions than me. I'm not bothered by that. i am bothered when a dr (especially one in an ER) assumes that they know more about MY health than me and that I'm wrong about what meds I'm on. Then prescribe a medication over my insistence that it will interact with meds I'm on by explaining that I don't know what I'm on (um, I carry a sheet with this info). Med was so interacting with other meds that my pharmacist actually refused to fill it (counter indicated for FIVE of my meds).
13th-Sep-2011 08:58 pm (UTC)
On the one hand, she's the office person, not the neuro. And gabapentin does sound kinda like gabitril, and she gets a lot of gabapentin people.

On the other hand, the insistence is a bit odd.
13th-Sep-2011 09:09 pm (UTC)
I think you're not wrong to be a bit side-eye there, but the insistence may be from simple cognitive dissonance. If she had it wrong in her head (just a name slip, what have you), she's going to question new information. Seems very normal behaviour to me.
13th-Sep-2011 09:25 pm (UTC)
And it's not pregabalin either!

Really, pharma companies and the FDA have a lot to answer for in terms of naming drugs. I just had to do a module for a freelance gig that involved updating package insert information for Glucotrol, Glucophage, Glucovance, Glumetza, and Glyset, not to mention Avandia, Avandaryl, and Avandamet. It was so fun flipping through the documents looking for the right one.

I can kind of understand even someone who hears the terms all the time getting them conflated, if that's not her usual job. I do it for all sorts of neuropsych meds, even though I've been writing about them for seven years, because I work on other things in the meantime and my expertise slips a bit.
13th-Sep-2011 09:36 pm (UTC)
Agh, so familiar! Even worse when the doctor does it... >.<
13th-Sep-2011 10:23 pm (UTC)
I have to explain every time I call a particular Costco that, no, Adderall and Dexedrine are two different formulations, yes in fact Adderall contains the same drug as Dexedrine and also several other related compounds, thank you no I do not have a prescription for Adderall I have... Oh screw it let me speak to your superior.

Um. Yeah.
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