How hard would it be to carry my prescriptions over to a new psych?
January 9, 2019 7:39 PM   Subscribe

I am currently seeing a psychiatrist (or more specifically, the RNs in their office). I would like to find a new psychiatrist. How difficult would it be to keep my medication regimen the same? Would I just have the old office send my files over, or will the new one want to do their own evaluation? This is a concern mainly because I'd like to keep my attention-deficit medications which I use rarely and as-needed, and I don't know if I'd actually be diagnosed with mild attention deficit right now.
posted by coolname to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Anytime I've changed doctors, they just ask you what you're taking and how much, and generally they will keep it the same unless you want something different. They won't re-diagnose you. Just go to the new doc and give them your scripts and tell them they're working for you, and they should just continue them with no issue.
posted by katypickle at 7:43 PM on January 9, 2019 [5 favorites]

I had no problems at all.
posted by evilmonk at 8:20 PM on January 9, 2019

Psychiatry is still very much trial-and-error and it can be frustrating for everyone to experiment with new medications. If you've got a regime that's working for you a new p-doc will be delighted to continue on with it.
posted by drlith at 4:36 AM on January 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

Couldn't your primary care physician take over writing the prescriptions for the meds?
posted by DrGail at 8:10 AM on January 10, 2019

All my psychiatrist changes have involved just starting on whatever I was already taking and making changes from there only if they seemed to be warranted. But the point where I think you're most vulnerable isn't really that someone else wouldn't accept another doctor's diagnosis, it's that I do think there's some chance here that you'll wind up going to a new doctor that doesn't consider it appropriate to prescribe stimulants for occasional use? I have had one doctor who mentioned being against the idea and didn't even like my skipping it on weekends, for example. But nobody's going to come arrest you for switching doctors if somebody DOES say that to you, and that wouldn't be the norm.
posted by Sequence at 8:42 AM on January 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

I would for sure raise this with any new office before you switch.

Never heard of anyone wanting to take on a new client at the same time that client has changed meds, but the flip side is people grumbling about the regimens prior providers advised.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 9:15 AM on January 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

I work in an outpatient mental health office (but not your outpatient MH office). Most psychiatrists would be fine continuing meds that work for you, although all of them will do their usual intake appointment with you (gather history, ask about symptoms, etc). Specifically for ADD/ADHD, they would have a set of questions they typically ask, and if you can explain how your current meds help you cope with real life stuff it shouldn't be a problem. I have found that quite a few prescribers are becoming more conservative with meds that can be abused, but if you aren't increasing your daily dose of ADHD meds I can't see that being a red flag for them (as opposed to someone saying they need more of a med).

If you can, it would be easier for you to bring a printout of meds from your previous psychiatrist if you can get it. Having records sent from one office to another can become a lengthy process with signing Release of Information, gathering the records, mailing, receiving, scanning to the appropriate patient file (if one exists before your appointment), etc. Most outpatient psych offices that aren't tied to a larger hospital system don't have a way to share electronic medical records, so it adds time and cost to the process. I'm not saying it's impossible, but some offices are way more efficient at it than others so it may be easier if you bring your own printout/documentation from the previous psychiatrist. I have had some new clients do both...request that records be sent but also show up at the appointment with their own copy just in case.
posted by MultiFaceted at 12:30 PM on January 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks everyone!
posted by coolname at 1:45 PM on January 10, 2019

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