Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"How do I explain to my doctor that the dosage he prescribed was ineffective?"

ZocdocAnswersHow do I explain to my doctor that the dosage he prescribed was ineffective?


I have horrible anxiety and have been having panic attacks more and more often, and they have gotten to the point where the are threatening my job. I went to a psychiatrist who does not seem to understand/believe the full extent of my anxiety. He prescribed me an extremely low dosage (first .5 then 1.0) of lorazepam to take once a day, but my panic attacks hardly subside unless I take at least 2 (spacing them out at about a half an hour hoping the first one will work) and then one at night to sleep. I obviously ran out of my medication before I was suposed to, and when I called to explain the situation to him he got very short with me and treated me like I was a drug addict. Right now I am currently terrified to talk to him or any other doctor because I feel like they do not understand how bad my anxiety is and will refuse to listen to me. I How do I explain to him that I am not abusing the substance, and that the dosage he prescribed was ineffective in helping me.


It is important to discuss this concern with your psychiatrist. I think that the main problem here is may be that you are being prescribed a medication that does not prevent panic attacks from occurring. Lorazepam is a type of medication that helps reduce anxiety, but it does not prevent anxiety from happening and it does not prevent panic attacks from occurring. In addition, lorazepam only works for about three hours so even if you were to take one or two pills per day, most the day would not be covered with a medication to help prevent your symptoms. The best medication that can be given for anxiety and panic attacks is a type of medication called an SSRI. This stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Examples of commonly prescribed SSRIs include citalopram and sertraline. These medications are taken daily and over the course of a month will help to reduce your anxiety and prevent panic attacks from occurring. The medication is typically taken for at least a year and then sometimes patients are weaned off to see if they can go without them. In severe cases, benzodiazepines such as Lorazapam can be used only when panic attacks occur despite the use of the SSRI. Without the use of the SSRI, your symptoms will not be controlled to matter how much lorazepam your doctor prescribes. To further discuss this, and perhaps the start of a new medication, I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your psychiatrist.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.