An Irvine doctor has lost his medical license after one of his patients died of an overdose. The doctor prescribed pain and anxiety medications in large quantities to a clinically depressed and suicidal patient, who then overdosed on them, according to California Medical Board documents.
The doctor had previously been disciplined by the medical board for excessively prescribing addictive drugs in 1995. He also received a public reprimand for not keeping proper medical documentation of his cases.
In this most recent case, the doctor came under fire after his patient died from an overdose of the narcotic painkiller propoxyphene. The patient first sought help from the doctor in 2002 for conditions such as anxiety, depression, suicidal impulses, back pain and cocaine addiction.
The record states that the doctor was guilty of gross negligence for prescribing large amounts of addictive and dangerous drugs to a suicidal, drug-addicted patient.
The patient had a prescription for 720 pills of the pain medication. He also was found with lorazepam, an anti-anxiety medication, in his bloodstream, which the doctor had prescribed him 330 tablets of that month.
The doctor argued that the patient was going to do an extended tour of Afghanistan and required more medication for his trip.
The record adds that the doctor’s notes were illegible and had no clear explanation for why such a large amount was prescribed. The doctor also failed to send the patient to a pain specialist or consulted with the man’s psychiatrist.
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