Working with doctors Working for patients

 

Introduction

With some reluctance, Jason agrees to try Zolpac.

(The story so far...)

Jason has come to see Dr Williams to discuss a change in his antidepressant as his current medication has been withdrawn from the market. He has asked to have a new drug available in the US that he found out about online, and is anxious about the effectiveness of the NICE recommended treatment, Zolpac.

Dr Williams

Dr Williams

So I'll give you a prescription for Zolpac and we'll meet again in a fortnight. I expect Dr Hargreaves went through the possible side-effects with you the last time? Nausea, headaches, anxiety...

Jason

Jason

Anxiety? But that's half the reason I'm having treatment in the first place! No, I've changed my mind. If I can't stay on this medication and you won't give me the US drug, I'll take my chances with nothing.

What should the doctor do...? (Select A,B or C)

A

Reassure Jason that anxiety is only a potential side-effect of the drug and even if he is affected it is likely to settle down after time; sign the prescription and hand it to him?

B

Explain about risk and how every treatment has possible side-effects. Explain to Jason why she thinks Zolpac is worth trying again?

C

Talk through the options, including the option not to take any medication, and tell Jason it's ultimately his decision?

Dr Williams

See what the doctor did

Dr Williams talked Jason through how the risks of any treatment must be balanced against the benefits. She explained why, out of the options available to him, she judged taking Zolpac would be the best option for him. Jason goes away with the prescription for Zolpac.

References

You must listen to patients, take account of their views, and respond honestly to their questions.

You must give patients the information they want or need to know in a way they can understand. You should make sure that arrangements are made, wherever possible, to meet patients' language and communication needs. (Good Medical Practice paragraphs 31 and 32)