Florida Department of Health Issues Complaint Against Psychiatrist Womesh Sahadeo Over Prescribing

July 6, 2020

On March 2, 2020, the Florida Department of Health issued a complaint against psychiatrist Womesh Sahadeo alleging medical malpractice, failure to keep legible patient records, and for prescribing controlled substances other than in the course of professional practice. These charges regard Sahadeo’s treatment of one patient.

From the Department of Health’s document:

“Sahadeo started seeing Patient SC on or about January 25, 2017 and continued to treat him until January 2019. SC is a 38-year-old male with a history of substance abuse.

“Sahadeo diagnosed SC with Panic Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and Opioid Use Disorder.

“There is no indication in SC's medical records that Sahadeo conducted a thorough initial evaluation of SC, or engaged in any substantive discussion of SC's medical history or history of substance abuse.

“During the treatment period, Sahadeo prescribed Subutex, Adderal, and Xanax to SC.

“Sahadeo appropriately conducted urine screenings, but the records do not contain any discussion regarding the results of the screenings.

“(Subutex is a schedule III controlled substance used in the treatment of substance abuse disorders; Adderall is a schedule II controlled substance used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy; Xanax is a schedule IV controlled substance used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety caused by depression.

“The records do not contain an explanation of why Sahadeo prescribed Subutex when SC should have been started on Suboxone (a schedule III controlled substance used in the treatment of substance abuse disorders).

“Unlike Subutex, Suboxone prevents intravenous use and lessens the risk of diversion. The indications for Subutex are either a known allergy to Suboxone or pregnancy, neither of which apply to SC.

“There is no indication in the records that SC suffered from any symptoms of ADHD to such a degree that it would justify the prescription of Adderall.

“Sahadeo diagnosed SC with bipolar disorder, however, the medical records do not adequately describe symptoms consistent with a bipolar disorder diagnosis.

“Despite knowledge of his history of substance abuse, Sahadeo prescribed an inappropriate amount of controlled substances to SC, without providing any accompanying efforts at rehabilitation or treatment of SC's substance abuse disorders.

“Sahadeo's medical records for SC are largely illegible, and do not provide the information necessary for a subsequent physician to continue SC’s care.

“At all times relevant to this Administrative Complaint, the prevailing professional standard of care required Sahadeo to:

“(a) Conduct an adequate initial assessm~nt, including a discussion of the nature, extent, and specifics of SC's substance abuse, an analysis of ADHD symptoms dating back to childhood, and an adequate description of symptoms consistent with a Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis;

“(b) Use Suboxone rather than Subutex in treating SC;

“(c) Not prescribe Adderall or Xanax to SC because of his history of substance abuse; and

“(d) Not prescribe inappropriate drugs to SC.”

Source: Administrative Complain, Department of Health v. Womesh Chand Sahadeo, M.D., Case Number 2018-17604, State of Florida Department of Health, March 2, 2020.

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