Two questions really --
1. When your dr. recommends a new med to you, what is your response? Do you come to the forum to ask about it, do you start taking it, no questions asked? I'm curious about how other people handle this issue.
2. If you decide you don't want to take the med (could be a risky procedure as well) your dr. recommended, how have you handled this situation? There might be side effects you doctor is either unaware of or discounts (like weight gain), or there may be research that suggests the med could pose short or long term risks to your health - Your dr. might not be aware of the research or might disagree...I think this 2nd issue is more critical in pain management b/c CPers can be cast as uncooperative, drug-seeking, not trying to do everything to possible to reduce their pain using meds and methods other than opioid based meds, etc.
I'm interested in how people address these two inter-related issues - particularly the 2nd one, since it's a difficult situation; you and your dr. disagree about the best way to approach your health care.
My thoughts follow -- I orginally wrote this as a response to someone else's post and realized that I was interested in how other people approached these issues in PM - especially since being well-informed or knowing "too much" is sometimes viewed with suspicion by PM doctors. Also, being unwilling to try everything recommended is a way to show that your are "real" pain patient rather someone who is just interested in meds. I've written about how I resolve the first issue, which seems like the easy part to me, but I don't think I have a lot of strategies to handle the 2nd issue. I'm interested in how other people deal with these issues.
When everything is going well (ie, in an ideal world and I am not slammed for time, in horrible pain etc,
1. I research the med on a couple reputable med. sites, and try to find out if any new research of interest has been done.
2. I look at forums to see what users say about it.
3. I search for reports of withdrawal symptoms with the med (regardless of what the doctor says. At least I know the range of possible responses to the medication even if I don't have the idea how often people experience what has been posted.
4. I might also ask my pharmacist, but it seems like I can get much of the information he has acccess to on the internet.
I think the reason I go to all this trouble now (that is, when I have time) is b/c I have lost so much time and money from taking meds that had side effects, short or long term effects, or cause withdrawal - none of which my doctors told me, even when asked. I'm not talking about the majority of times my doctor has prescribed a medication for me - it usually goes well. I'm talking about the times when it doesn't.
I wish my doctors had said, "I'm not sure, let me look that up. .," but I realize that isn't part of the culture. I also realize that they really don't have time to memorize the short and long term effect of every med they prescribe or read up on the latest research. Some/A lot (?) of the info they get comes fro pharm representative whose self-interest isn't to present the pros/cons in a balanced way to doctors.
I have not, however, figured out what to do about disagreements with my doctor. So, far, this hasn’t been an issue with my current doctor, which I appreciate. It has, however, occasionally been an issue with other doctors, and I’m curious to hear how others have handled (or not), these sticky situations (as well as how you approach new meds/procedures.)