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Author Topic: Afraid, doctor lowered my Xanax script and said nothing?  (Read 491 times)

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Offline dantescritic

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Afraid, doctor lowered my Xanax script and said nothing?
« on: June 22, 2014, 08:42:34 PM »
 So I am prescribed Xanax 1 MG take 1 1/2 tablet a day.  Well today I picked up my script at the psychiatrists office, went  to the pharmacy and the script has chance to Xanax 0.5 mg take 1 1/2 table a day, less than half of what I was originally taking.  So I am wondering, is it more likely that my psychiatrist is trying to wean me without even speaking to me? Or that perhaps someone made a mistake writing the script? Has this happened to anyone before, and should I be concerned?

 Ive been feeling great for a whole year, completely anxiety free thanks to the medication and I feel that is now in jeopardy. It's absolutely ruined my day.

PLEASE get back to me
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Re: Afraid, doctor lowered my Xanax script and said nothing?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2014, 08:59:35 PM »
So I am wondering, is it more likely that my psychiatrist is trying to wean me without even speaking to me? Or that perhaps someone made a mistake writing the script?

The only person who can answer that is your psychiatrist so ask him.

But either way, you should reconsider whether this is the best long term med for you. Benzodiazepines are usually very effective, but doctors are becoming more and more reluctant to prescribe them so they are now no longer good primary, taken daily treatments for anxiety, IMHO, and are best reserved for occasional breakthrough anxiety, or to help ease the added anxiety that often occurs when first starting antidepressants.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

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Re: Afraid, doctor lowered my Xanax script and said nothing?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2014, 02:25:39 AM »

 Ive been feeling great for a whole year, completely anxiety free thanks to the medication and I feel that is now in jeopardy. It's absolutely ruined my day.

Hi Dantescritic,  :action-smiley-065:

IMHO - If you  have been doing well with for entire year thanks to the medication is major accomplishment, speaking with your doctor would be a great idea.

For what's it worth, here is my two cents  :twocents::

I had many similar issues with my doctors over the years, so I know how frustrating it can be  :angry:

I had to speak with many of my doctors, and for me, getting the proper dosages is a major accomplishment - only to have my doctor - try and experiment with different dosages, putting me back to square one.   It has happened numerous times to myself and I really understand your frustration.

Also, as Ian has pointed out on his post, more and more doctors are becoming reluctant to prescribe benzodiazepines, which I personally believe has to do with the number of lawsuits that many doctors are now facing due to the litigious nature in the United States.

I had to keep my focus "That I am ultimately responsible for my own mental health and well-being" - and I would ask questions of my doctor's logic - some make sense, while others didn't.

My personal belief, is that I am a paying customer/patient and do have the right to ask questions, and seek a second opinion, when necessary.  The good news, is that most doctors will work with you and your condition, if you establish a good relationship with them = Trust Factor is very important.  :nature-smiley-016:

Let us know your progress, I am sure everything will work out fine - speaking with your doctor helps establishes that important trust.   :action-smiley-065:

Again, this is just my own personal opinion  :twocents:
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Offline Christophe

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Re: Afraid, doctor lowered my Xanax script and said nothing?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2014, 02:31:50 PM »
I had my Dr do the same thing to me recently but it was more of putting a limit on the prescription via number of pills in one month.

He did it so I don't overdo it or become too addicted and yours is probably doing the same thing.
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Re: Afraid, doctor lowered my Xanax script and said nothing?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2014, 07:24:48 PM »
 Want to thank everyone for their wonderful responses, the Doctor admitted his mistake "amazingly" and apologized profusely. I did have to jump through some hoops to get him and my pharmacy to communicate but all is well now.


 Specifically to Insights-  I appreciate your suggestion about the dangers about tranquilizers.  Now for TWO entire years before I tried taking Xanax I attempted purely SSRI's, purely MAOI Inhibitors.  I also did a "Hardcore" introduction to Cognitive Behavioral therapy, with two different "Counselors" who's only real advice was "Try to ignore the panic" yeah great... Well I tried to ignore the panic, it didn't work, the physical manifestations of my anxiety "Shortness of Breath, Chest Tightness, Fatigue" continued to get even worse to the point that I thought I was having heart problems. I got a full heart and lung CT scan, did an Exercise Echocardiogram, a pulmonary function test none of which discovered any issues. Again while this was happening the SSRI's and CBT did absolutely nothing, as my anxiety continued to get worse and I kept making repeated visits to the hospital.

  I finally "with great trepidation" accepted to be put on a daily dose of Xanax by my psychiatrist, I was much like you and very concerned about all of the horror stories ive read about it.  Well, I now am working at an internship for the ACLU, quite a prestigious organization, I can enjoy life without feeling like im choking to death or having a heart attack, im able to exercise on a daily basis without my heart palpitating with a rhythm that can only be described as "Morse Code"

 ALL of these symptoms dissapeared with Xanax.  Ive been on it for a year now and ive never felt better, if I had trusted all of the misinformation coming from posters here and elsewhere about the dangers of "Xanax" i'd probably still be posting on this forum every single day, looking for the reason behind my symptomology and how to treat it. I really believe that some people may need Xanax for their entire lives, and I find it tragic that these people need to be stigmatized because a few morons decide to abuse the drug and then become shocked when they are suffering constant withdrawals.  And I definitely think that the constant information against even a remote possibility of someone being sick enough to need a benzo is probably keeping ALOT of people on this site much sicker than they should be.

 Does it create dependency? Of course it does, but if people didn't abuse it, that dependency would be a necessary evil for people who actual need something like Xanax "myself as an example"
 
  Maybe Yoga and Colon Cleanses worked for you, they never worked for me.

 Best, Dante

 
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Offline comoso

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Re: Afraid, doctor lowered my Xanax script and said nothing?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2014, 08:31:17 PM »
I applaud you, Dante.  Really I do.  I've been fighting this for 11 months and the first 6 was on 1.5 mg xanax per day.  They didn't work for me, I got worse in those 6 months.  I was switched to klonopin and SSRI's of which I'm on my 3rd try now.  I DO feel better and am hoping healing continues.  I've done as most of us have done and read a million horror stories on benzos and SSRI's.  I'm coming to terms with the nightmare that my life would be without them right now.  Maybe some day I'll be able to live without them, but right now, I'm tired of trying to.  I have a mortgage, a wife, 3 kids, a great job.  I want to keep those things and it's hard when you're becoming agoraphobic trying to wean off meds.

I'm starting to think a lot of the horror stories are coming from people with nerve issues(like me) and they're trying to wean off meds before they've healed.  I've got several friends/family members that have told me they took benzos for a year or two and then when they felt better they just stopped taking them.  These are people I love and respect, they're people I've known a lot of years and know them to be of character. 

I've fought to take less klonopin than my psych prescribed and put myself through a lot of suffering in doing so.  I just had a talk with my 84 year old grand dad and was absolutely floored to find out he's been taking xanax for 40 years.  My grandmothers on both sides have been on valium for around 50.  My mother is on Celexa and Xanax, my father is on Cymbalta.  I'd say it's high time I quit fooling myself listening to people I don't know on the internet and look at my life.  My family is full of anxiety disorders.  I'm very fortunate to have lived 41 years before my first panic attack.  But, now that I have them and I've fought like crazy for a year I'm ready to take the medication that is available and live life to the fullest...  No regrets...  I'm drank alcohol probably 5 times total in my life.  I've never touched an illegal drug. 

I have an illness now that is highly treatable if you'll accept the treatment.  I wonder why the internet isn't full of Diabetes sufferers mad because they're unable to wean off their insulin?
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Re: Afraid, doctor lowered my Xanax script and said nothing?
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2014, 09:14:27 PM »
Specifically to Insights-  I appreciate your suggestion about the dangers about tranquilizers.

Just to make my position clear, I don't have a problem with the meds. IMHO, they are no better or worse than antidepressants and in an ideal world for many they would be the better option, and I believe the dependency issue is greatly overstated, especially when compared to quite a few of the antidepressants. However, it is unfortunately a fact that more and more doctors are refusing to prescribe them and some then effectively torture their patients by insisting they discontinue taking their BZD within only a few weeks so people need to be aware of this risk.

Quote
I also did a "Hardcore" introduction to Cognitive Behavioral therapy, with two different "Counselors" who's only real advice was "Try to ignore the panic" yeah great...

While acceptance of the anxiety and going with the flow is certainly part of CBT, there is a whole lot more to it than that. The problem is that just about anyone can call themselves a counselor, no training necessary, so look for a therapist recognized by one of the CBT/REBT/Mindfulness organizations such as the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists, the Albert Ellis Institute, etc.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

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Re: Afraid, doctor lowered my Xanax script and said nothing?
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2014, 02:04:20 PM »
Want to thank everyone for their wonderful responses, the Doctor admitted his mistake "amazingly" and apologized profusely. I did have to jump through some hoops to get him and my pharmacy to communicate but all is well now.


Dante that is awesome news!   :party0006:

I know exactly how you felt!  Great Job on following up....  They been doing this to my elderly mother on Lorazapam for the last year, she came back with less pills each time - and even after I took a picture of the Doctor's Original prescription, they still keep giving her LESS and LESS. :angry:

Having taken photos all of my mom's prescriptions and pharmacy records and even pictures of the medication bottles themselves has saved me hours of unnecessary "debating" with the doctor office - after printing out the photos and showing them documentation, I still need to go along with her to show the office, "The Correct Dosage" - which of course, they apologise when they are confronted with this documentation and photos of the prescription.  ::)

I am really proud of your efforts and staying on your Doctor to get the correct amount of medication  :grinning-smiley-003: :grinning-smiley-003: :grinning-smiley-003:  - 3 Thumbs Up !!!

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Offline dantescritic

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Re: Afraid, doctor lowered my Xanax script and said nothing?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2014, 04:28:31 AM »
I applaud you, Dante.  Really I do.  I've been fighting this for 11 months and the first 6 was on 1.5 mg xanax per day.  They didn't work for me, I got worse in those 6 months.  I was switched to klonopin and SSRI's of which I'm on my 3rd try now.  I DO feel better and am hoping healing continues.  I've done as most of us have done and read a million horror stories on benzos and SSRI's.  I'm coming to terms with the nightmare that my life would be without them right now.  Maybe some day I'll be able to live without them, but right now, I'm tired of trying to.  I have a mortgage, a wife, 3 kids, a great job.  I want to keep those things and it's hard when you're becoming agoraphobic trying to wean off meds.

I'm starting to think a lot of the horror stories are coming from people with nerve issues(like me) and they're trying to wean off meds before they've healed.  I've got several friends/family members that have told me they took benzos for a year or two and then when they felt better they just stopped taking them.  These are people I love and respect, they're people I've known a lot of years and know them to be of character. 

I've fought to take less klonopin than my psych prescribed and put myself through a lot of suffering in doing so.  I just had a talk with my 84 year old grand dad and was absolutely floored to find out he's been taking xanax for 40 years.  My grandmothers on both sides have been on valium for around 50.  My mother is on Celexa and Xanax, my father is on Cymbalta.  I'd say it's high time I quit fooling myself listening to people I don't know on the internet and look at my life.  My family is full of anxiety disorders.  I'm very fortunate to have lived 41 years before my first panic attack.  But, now that I have them and I've fought like crazy for a year I'm ready to take the medication that is available and live life to the fullest...  No regrets...  I'm drank alcohol probably 5 times total in my life.  I've never touched an illegal drug. 

I have an illness now that is highly treatable if you'll accept the treatment.  I wonder why the internet isn't full of Diabetes sufferers mad because they're unable to wean off their insulin?
What you just said exemplifies my struggle. Dont feel bad that you need medication, don't ever let anyone let you feel that way. hahah that insulin comment is exactly how I feel about all the natural healin g practitioners here. I agree with you, keep on progressing with your goals in life. Ultimately thats what matters, and I absolutely can understand that inability to cope without the xanax. Some of us just need it, its that simple. We aren't the ones abusing it, we shouldn't have to suffer because of those that do.  Keep up the medication you're taking, people like to act that Xanax is a miracle  drug but it took me a good 3-4 weeks on xanax and lexapro to finally feel NORMAL and I mean, back to before panic disorder! Keep up the good work, the only other suggestion I have is increase your exercise. Thats the single "Natural" cure that I hear about that helped me.
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Offline ShawnW

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Re: Afraid, doctor lowered my Xanax script and said nothing?
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2014, 06:56:16 AM »
Specifically to Insights-  I appreciate your suggestion about the dangers about tranquilizers.

Just to make my position clear, I don't have a problem with the meds. IMHO, they are no better or worse than antidepressants and in an ideal world for many they would be the better option, and I believe the dependency issue is greatly overstated, especially when compared to quite a few of the antidepressants. However, it is unfortunately a fact that more and more doctors are refusing to prescribe them and some then effectively torture their patients by insisting they discontinue taking their BZD within only a few weeks so people need to be aware of this risk.

Quote
I also did a "Hardcore" introduction to Cognitive Behavioral therapy, with two different "Counselors" who's only real advice was "Try to ignore the panic" yeah great...

While acceptance of the anxiety and going with the flow is certainly part of CBT, there is a whole lot more to it than that. The problem is that just about anyone can call themselves a counselor, no training necessary, so look for a therapist recognized by one of the CBT/REBT/Mindfulness organizations such as the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists, the Albert Ellis Institute, etc.

Ian

I am just curious as to why you believe physicians are becoming more hesitant to write for BZDs.  What do you believe is their motivation?  Are they merely sadistic?
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Re: Afraid, doctor lowered my Xanax script and said nothing?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2014, 07:52:10 AM »
I am just curious as to why you believe physicians are becoming more hesitant to write for BZDs.  What do you believe is their motivation?  Are they merely sadistic?

No, they've been conned into thinking BZDs are evil by people like you, and by drug company reps pushing antidepressants. Everything can be evil when misused. Aspirin kills about 2,000 Americans every year, about the same number as heroin, and is the reason for about 20% of kidney transplants. But when used wisely it also saves many lives. Similarly, for many anxiety sufferers BZDs would be a better option than antidepressants.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline ShawnW

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Re: Afraid, doctor lowered my Xanax script and said nothing?
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2014, 12:05:54 AM »
I am just curious as to why you believe physicians are becoming more hesitant to write for BZDs.  What do you believe is their motivation?  Are they merely sadistic?

No, they've been conned into thinking BZDs are evil by people like you, and by drug company reps pushing antidepressants. Everything can be evil when misused. Aspirin kills about 2,000 Americans every year, about the same number as heroin, and is the reason for about 20% of kidney transplants. But when used wisely it also saves many lives. Similarly, for many anxiety sufferers BZDs would be a better option than antidepressants.

Ian

Ahh, I see.  It's a big conspiracy.  A guy who does some internet reading, who doesn't work in the field has got it all figured out.  It couldn't have anything to do with real dangers associated with BZD use including dependence and addiction (in those genetically predisposed).  It couldn't have anything to do with the family practitioners of this country seeing patients abusing and selling their benzo prescriptions.  It's merely "guys like me" convincing intelligent educated men to believe something that is completely false.  And it's "guys like me" who effectively just want to torture patients?  Are all my patients lying to me?  Are these people with benzo addiction who have given up house, home, families and even sold themselves to use just making it up?  Or maybe I am making it up eh?  How about those opiate addicts who like to use benzos to potentiate the opiates?   

Can I ask you something?  Why does Xanax have a street value?  Why does Valium have a street value? Just misunderstood anxiety patients who are looking for relief because their docs are torturing them?  Or maybe "guys like me" have convinced the world that they are good drugs to abuse and have created a market.   

While it's true that everything including water can cause harm when misused...not everything causes euphoria.  And anything that can cause euphoria will be abused, misused, and people can become addicted to it. 
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Re: Afraid, doctor lowered my Xanax script and said nothing?
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2014, 02:16:47 AM »
Can I ask you something?  Why does Xanax have a street value?  Why does Valium have a street value?

Mostly, because it is used by drug addicts to moderate the effects of the drugs, or help them cope with withdrawals, not usually to supply the unmet needs of anxiety sufferers, though it could be argued that many addicts became addicts because the drugs relieved an unrecognized disorder. There would be few of them posting here at AZ, but I find it interesting that you appear to be lumping the BZD street drug issues together with BZD in the anxiety community.

Most of those taking these meds for anxiety do not abuse their benzodiazepines. Indeed, the evidence is that most reduce their doses over time. To quote possibly the most zealous anti benzodiazepine campaigner of them all, "Given the number of people who are prescribed benzodiazepines, relatively few patients increase their dosage or engage in drug-seeking behavior.....Abuse is frequently associated with adolescents and young adults who take benzodiazepines to obtain a high. This intoxicated state results in reduced inhibition and impaired judgment. Concurrent use of alcohol or other depressants with benzodiazepines can be life-threatening. Abuse of benzodiazepines is particularly high among heroin and cocaine abusers. Approximately 50 percent of people entering treatment for narcotic or cocaine addiction also report abusing benzodiazepines." Benzodiazepine : Rational Use Of Benzodiazepines, Prof C. Heather Ashton.

I doubt that many genuine anxiety sufferers sell their benzodiazepines, but that street BZDs come mostly from illicit drug users gaming doctors, both to get BZDs for their own use and to sell to buy illicit drugs.

Quote
And anything that can cause euphoria will be abused, misused, and people can become addicted to it.

Yes. But in this case they can also help people when nothing else will. Most of those prescribed antidepressants don't take them long enough to get any benefit because they can't tolerate the side-effects. Of those that do, about a third derive no benefit from them, another third do not get full relief. How do you propose they be helped? Therapy? Sure, it can be highly effective. but for many Americans it is about as accessible as the Moon. Plus, just as with antidepressants, therapy doesn't work for everyone, and there seems to be a large overlap with those not helped by antidepressants.

So how do the medical zealots then help these people? What answer do they have? Usually, none, IME. They often just leave their patients to to fend for themselves, resulting in many leading miserable lives. The zealots don't care that in fixing one problem they make life miserable for many others as has happened in Britain where benzodiazepines are almost impossible to obtained from NHS doctors. This has lead to deaths among those who unable to get adequate relief for their anxiety give up on living, something which will only get worse as the push there against antidepressants gains more and more traction and the number of available therapists proves inadequate.

And while I have your attention, maybe it is time you leaned about the difference between addiction and dependence, which is knowledge you seem to be unable to process. Perhaps this will help, it's mainly about opiates, but is just as applicable to benzodiazepines: Definitions Related to the Use of Opioids for the Treatment of Pain: Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the American Pain Society, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine (PDF).

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

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Re: Afraid, doctor lowered my Xanax script and said nothing?
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2014, 04:42:58 AM »
Insight, you keep creating a straw man so that you can shoot it down.  The fact is this, I never said BZDs are bad drugs or that most or any within this community would abuse or sell them.  You have given every indication that you believe their abuse potential to be low/none and my responses are to those thoughts alone.  I haven't speculated on this community.  I speak as an addictionologist concerned with misinformation and medical advice being given about the safety of a drug without the context of medical/family/addiction history of the patient.  It is harmful.

Did you know when I worked as a family practitioner I prescribed BZDs?  Hmm...interesting for a "anti-benzo zealot".  I believe them to be the right thing for certain anxiety patients.  In many individuals they are not abused.  So, the picture you are trying to paint isn't accurate.  I don't believe them to be dirty or evil drugs.  I'm not trying to extrapolate upon this community unlike yourself.  I want some people who have an addiction history, or a strong family history of addiction to understand these drugs are not without risk for them. 

But, you have never addressed my concerns about your statements.  Do you believe BZDs are safe for lets say a recovering alcoholic to take for their anxiety?  If so why?  If not why?  And do you have any legitimate medical references for your beliefs?

As for why the BZDs have street value being withdraw related or to moderate other drugs...I would agree.  But, that isn't the only reason they have street value.  I treat primary BZD addiction where that is their only drug of choice.  Are they lying to me?  While issues with substance abuse are often polysubstance abuse, BZDs are the second most common addiction I treat right behind opiate addiction.  Anything that causes euphoria can and will be abused.  That's addiction 101. 
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Re: Afraid, doctor lowered my Xanax script and said nothing?
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2014, 05:07:19 AM »
PS- I passed my ASAM boards, have you?  Obviously, you don't have any idea about anything related to addiction.

Since we are discussing articles here is one for you...

http://www.samhsa.gov/data/2k11/WEB_TEDS_028/WEB_TEDS-028_BenzoAdmissions.htm

That is an even handed article that matches what I see in our treatment center.

Take home messages...

1) Benzo admissions tripled from 1998-2008
2) While benzos are usually taken with other drugs, 5% reported that being their only drug of choice.
3) 12.9% reported that BZDs were their primary drug of choice.
4) That physicians need to screen patients for those who are predisposed to addiction.
5) A significant portion of BZD admissions also have concurrent psychiatric diagnosis (which accounts for many on this board)

Everything fits what I am saying...use caution as these drugs are not without risk.  People do abuse BZDs alone AND with other drugs.  If you have a history of addiction or a strong family history these drugs propose a much higher risk for that population.  And just because you have a primary psych diagnosis doesn't mean addiction to these medications shouldn't be a concern.

Now, if you say that these conclusions are merely the brainwashing of doctors by "the man", then I don't think we have anything else to discuss.
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My insight, thoughts, experiences or advice that may be posted in this forum are not meant as a substitution for the advice of your physician.

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