Do not write controlled substance prescriptions (e.g. Opioids, Benzodiazepines) for family or friends
Some state laws in U.S. prohibit prescribing to self or family
Home treatment of minor symptoms is reasonable
Notify primary provider of medications prescribed outside of their care
However, major symptoms are best treated with formal evaluations
Avoid prescribing chronic medications for self, friends or family
Risk if adverse events occur
Rendered care may be sub-standard of the care you would deliver to others
Clinician may not ask their family member sensitive questions
Clinician may stretch their care beyond their level of expertise
Family members may have misconceptions or unrealistic expectations and perceive a poor outcome
Trying to please a family member may result in altering care from best practice with a worse outcome
Weinstock, Sharkis, Marks and Herbert in Herbert (2016) EM:Rap 16(6): 15-6
(2019) Presc Lett 26(5)
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This page was written by Scott Moses, MD, last revised on 5/8/2019 and last published on 10/13/2020.