ProPublica

Journalism in the Public Interest

Cancel

Prescriber Checkup

BEN ECHOLS M.D.

2616 SOUTH LOOP W SUITE 235

Houston | Texas | 77054

(713) 664-3332

Incorrect Info?
Search this name in Dollars for Docs »

At A Glance: This Prescriber in 2011

Gastroenterology

Self-Reported Primary Specialty

See Other Prescribers With This Specialty in This State »

7,689Medicare Part D Prescriptions Filled, Including Refills

Rank: 1 out of 539

$421K Total Retail Price of All Prescriptions

Rank: 9 out of 539

379 Patients Receiving at Least One Drug in Part D
49%Patients 65 Years and Older
88% Subsidized Claims for Low-Income Patients

How Does This Prescriber Compare to Peers?

In the same specialty and state. Caveats »

Drugs That Present Special Risks
Costs of Prescribing
Average for
this specialty
in Texas

Narcotics

48% of this provider’s 379 patients filled at least one prescription for a narcotic painkiller, compared to an average of 2%.

Antipsychotics to Seniors

6% of this provider’s 185 patients 65 and older filled at least one prescription for an antipsychotic, compared to an average of 0%.

Risky Drugs to Seniors

4% of this provider’s 3,385 prescriptions for patients 65 and older were for "potentially dangerous" drugs, compared to an average of 1%.

Brand Name Drugs

23% of this provider’s prescriptions were for brand-name drugs, compared to an average of 29%.

Prescription Price

$55 was the average price of a prescription from this provider, compared to $129 among peers.

Prescriptions per Patient

20 is the average number of prescriptions (including refills) per patient, compared to an average of 4.


Another View

This chart shows a different comparison of all providers in this specialty based on their mix of drugs and volume. Providers are grouped by similarity; those least like their peers are farthest to the right. Hover over the bars to see names of other prescribers.

← Prescribers more like their peers Prescribers less like their peers →
KEY: How to read this
chart

Fewer Prescribers
More Prescribers

This Prescriber
Hover to see more prescribers

This Prescriber's Drugs

The table below list this provider’s drugs, the number of prescriptions and how many went to seniors. Drugs are ranked by volume and compared with the rank for all providers in the same specialty and state.

Click to Filter by Category

Clear Filter


A

An antipsychotic drug. More » Antipsychotics are frequently given to dementia patients, though it increases their risk of death.

R

A risky drug for seniors. More » The American Geriatrics Society has said this drug is "potentially dangerous" for seniors and might be inappropriate.

N

A narcotic drug. More » Misuse and abuse of narcotics led to some 16,000 overdose deaths in 2010.

10

This provider is among the top 10 prescribers of
this drug in the country.

This provider’s prescriptions for this drug were for more days than those of peers. More » Because of this, his or her prescription count may be lower.

This provider’s prescriptions for this drug were for fewer days than those of peers. More » Because of this, his or her prescription count may be higher.

This Drug's Rank
Drug Name Total Prescriptions Filled
Including Refills
Prescriptions
to 65+
Category For this Prescriber For All Prescribers in
This Specialty in Texas
HYDROCODONE-ACETAMINOPHEN

Used to relieve moderate to... +

Used to relieve moderate to severe pain. More info »

1,023 315 N 1 15
CLONIDINE HCL

Clonidine is used alone or ... +

Clonidine is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. Clonidine is in a class of medications called centrally acting alpha-agonist hypotensive agents. It works by decreasing your heart rate and relaxing the blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily through the body. More info »

281 117 2 45
AMLODIPINE BESYLATE

Amlodipine is used alone or... +

Amlodipine is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure and chest pain (angina). Amlodipine is in a class of medications called calcium channel blockers. It lowers blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels so the heart does not have to pump as hard. It controls chest pain by increasing the supply of blood to the heart. If taken regularly, amlodipine controls chest pain, but it does not stop chest pain once it starts. Your doctor may prescribe a different medication to take when you have chest pain. More info »

267 135 3 31
FUROSEMIDE

Treats fluid retention (ede... +

Treats fluid retention (edema) and high blood pressure (hypertension). More info »

228 103 4 22
NEXIUM

Treats heartburn, gastroeso... +

Treats heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and conditions that cause your stomach to make too much acid. Also helps heal a damaged esophagus. Prevents stomach ulcers and stomach irritation in patients who take pain or arthritis medicine or NSAID. This medicine may be used in combination with antibiotics to treat ulcers. This medicine is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). More info »

223 82 5 2
LISINOPRIL

Treats high blood pressure ... +

Treats high blood pressure and heart failure. A lower blood pressure will reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. Also used in the first few days after a heart attack to help reduce the risk of death. This medicine is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. More info »

211 130 6 40
METFORMIN HCL

Metformin is used alone or ... +

Metformin is used alone or with other medications, including insulin, to treat type 2 diabetes (condition in which the body does not use insulin normally and, therefore, cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood). Metformin is in a class of drugs called biguanides. Metformin helps to control the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood. It decreases the amount of glucose you absorb from your food and the amount of glucose made by your liver. Metformin also increases your body's response to insulin, a natural substance that controls the amount of glucose in the blood. Metformin is not used to treat type 1 diabetes (condition in which the body does not produce insulin and therefore cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood). More info »

186 70 7 48
PLAVIX

Used alone or together with... +

Used alone or together with aspirin to help prevent stroke, heart attack, and other heart problems. This medicine is a blood thinner. More info »

151 92 8 67
CARISOPRODOL

Treats pain and stiffness o... +

Treats pain and stiffness of muscle spasms. This medicine is a muscle relaxant. More info »

141 35 R 9 57
CYCLOBENZAPRINE HCL

Cyclobenzaprine, a muscle r... +

Cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxant, is used with rest, physical therapy, and other measures to relax muscles and relieve pain and discomfort caused by strains, sprains, and other muscle injuries. More info »

131 49 R 10 74
LIPITOR

Lowers high cholesterol and... +

Lowers high cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. Lowers the risk of chest pain, stroke, heart attack, or certain heart and blood vessel problems in people who have certain risk factors. This medicine is an HMG-CoA inhibitor, also called a statin. More info »

128 58 11 44
PROMETHAZINE HCL

Promethazine is used to rel... +

Promethazine is used to relieve the symptoms of allergic reactions such as allergic rhinitis (runny nose and watery eyes caused by allergy to pollen, mold or dust), allergic conjunctivitis (red, watery eyes caused by allergies), allergic skin reactions, and allergic reactions to blood or plasma products. Promethazine is used with other medications to treat anaphylaxis (sudden, severe allergic reactions) and the symptoms of the common cold such as sneezing, cough, and runny nose. Promethazine is also used to relax and sedate patients before and after surgery, during labor, and at other times. Promethazine is also used to prevent and control nausea and vomiting that may occur after surgery, and with other medications to help relieve pain after surgery. Promethazine is also used to prevent and treat motion sickness. Promethazine helps control symptoms, but will not treat the cause of the symptoms or speed recovery. Promethazine is in a class of medications called phenothiazines. It works by blocking the action of a certain natural substance in the body. More info »

125 30 R 12 12
SIMVASTATIN

Treats high cholesterol and... +

Treats high cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. Lowers risk of heart attack, stroke, and certain blood vessel problems in people with certain risk factors. This medicine is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, also called a statin. More info »

117 64 13 50
ZOLPIDEM TARTRATE

Zolpidem is used to treat i... +

Zolpidem is used to treat insomnia (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep). Zolpidem belongs to a class of medications called sedative-hypnotics. It works by slowing activity in the brain to allow sleep. More info »

116 43 14 64
AMLODIPINE BESYLATE-BENAZEPRIL

The combination of amlodipi... +

The combination of amlodipine and benazepril is used to treat high blood pressure. Amlodipine is in a class of medications called calcium channel blockers. It works by relaxing the blood vessels so the heart does not have to pump as hard. Benazepril is in a class of medications called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. It works by decreasing certain chemicals that tighten the blood vessels, so blood flows more smoothly. More info »

100 42 15 83
TRIAMTERENE-HCTZ

The combination of triamter... +

The combination of triamterene and hydrochlorothiazide is used to treat high blood pressure and edema (fluid retention; excess fluid held in body tissues) in patients who have lower amounts of potassium in their bodies or for whom low potassium levels in the body could be dangerous. The combination of triamterene and hydrochlorothiazide is in a class of medications called diuretics ('water pills'). It causes the kidneys to get rid of unneeded water and sodium from the body into the urine, but reduces the loss of potassium. More info »

94 50 16 86
METOPROLOL TARTRATE

Metoprolol is used alone or... +

Metoprolol is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. It also is used to prevent angina (chest pain) and to improve survival after a heart attack. Extended-release (long-acting) metoprolol also is used in combination with other medications to treat heart failure. Metoprolol is in a class of medications called beta blockers. It works by relaxing blood vessels and slowing heart rate to improve blood flow and decrease blood pressure More info »

91 66 17 68
LEVOTHYROXINE SODIUM

Levothyroxine, a thyroid ho... +

Levothyroxine, a thyroid hormone, is used to treat hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Without this hormone, the body cannot function properly, resulting in: poor growth; slow speech; lack of energy; weight gain; hair loss; dry, thick skin; and increased sensitivity to cold. When taken correctly, levothyroxine reverses these symptoms. Levothyroxine is also used to treat congenital hypothyroidism (cretinism) and goiter (enlarged thyroid gland). More info »

91 31 17 43
HYDROCHLOROTHIAZIDE

Used alone or together with... +

Used alone or together with other medicines to treat high blood pressure and fluid retention (edema). This medicine is a diuretic (water pill). More info »

89 33 19 52
ACETAMINOPHEN-CODEINE

This combination of drugs i... +

This combination of drugs is used to relieve mild to moderate pain. More info »

77 34 N 20 90
POTASSIUM CHLORIDE

Potassium is needed to main... +

Potassium is needed to maintain good health. More info »

73 48 21 51
LISINOPRIL-HYDROCHLOROTHIAZIDE

Treats high blood pressure.... +

Treats high blood pressure. A lower blood pressure will reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. This medicine is a combination of an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor and a diuretic (water pill). More info »

73 33 21 92
ENALAPRIL MALEATE

Enalapril is used alone or ... +

Enalapril is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. It is also used in combination with other medications to treat heart failure. Enalapril is in a class of medications called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. It works by decreasing certain chemicals that tighten the blood vessels, so blood flows more smoothly and the heart can pump blood more efficiently. More info »

72 22 23 94
METOPROLOL SUCCINATE

Metoprolol is used alone or... +

Metoprolol is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. It also is used to prevent angina (chest pain) and to improve survival after a heart attack. Extended-release (long-acting) metoprolol also is used in combination with other medications to treat heart failure. Metoprolol is in a class of medications called beta blockers. It works by relaxing blood vessels and slowing heart rate to improve blood flow and decrease blood pressure More info »

70 39 24 76
SINGULAIR

Helps prevent and control a... +

Helps prevent and control asthma attacks, including attacks caused by exercise. Also treats seasonal (short-term) and perennial (long-term) allergies. More info »

68 25 25 95
MELOXICAM

Treats symptoms of osteoart... +

Treats symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA). Also treats symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adults and children. This medicine is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). More info »

65 40 26 98
BUTALBITAL COMPOUND-CODEINE 62 N R 10 27 99
CIPROFLOXACIN HCL

Ciprofloxacin is used to tr... +

Ciprofloxacin is used to treat or prevent certain infections caused by bacteria. Ciprofloxacin is also used to treat or prevent anthrax (a serious infection that may be spread on purpose as part of a bioterror attack) in people who may have been exposed to anthrax germs in the air. Ciprofloxacin extended-release (long-acting) tablets are used only to treat certain types of urinary tract infections. Ciprofloxacin is in a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. It works by killing bacteria that cause infections. Antibiotics will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. More info »

62 25 27 46
OMEPRAZOLE

Treats heartburn, stomach u... +

Treats heartburn, stomach ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and conditions that cause your stomach to make too much acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, endocrine tumors, and systemic mastocytosis. Also helps heal a damaged esophagus, and helps prevent stomach bleeding in patients who have a serious illness. This medicine may be used in combination with antibiotics to treat ulcers. This medicine is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). More info »

62 51 27 1
ACTOS

Used together with proper d... +

Used together with proper diet and exercise to help control blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. More info »

60 30 101
DICYCLOMINE HCL

Dicyclomine is used to trea... +

Dicyclomine is used to treat the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Dicyclomine is in a class of medications called anticholinergics. It relieves muscle spasms in the gastrointestinal tract by blocking the activity of a certain natural substance in the body. More info »

57 25 31 6
GLIPIZIDE

Used with diet and exercise... +

Used with diet and exercise to help control blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. More info »

57 44 31 105
TRAMADOL HCL

Tramadol is used to relieve... +

Tramadol is used to relieve moderate to moderately severe pain. Tramadol extended-release tablets are only used by people who are expected to need medication to relieve pain around-the-clock for a long time. Tramadol is in a class of medications called opiate agonists. It works by changing the way the body senses pain. More info »

56 38 N 33 66
FEXOFENADINE HCL

Fexofenadine is used to rel... +

Fexofenadine is used to relieve the allergy symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis (''hay fever''), including runny nose; sneezing; red, itchy, or watery eyes; or itching of the nose, throat, or roof of the mouth in adults and children 2 years of age and older. It is also used to relieve symptoms of urticaria (hives; red, itchy raised areas of the skin), including itching and rash in adults and children 6 months of age and older. Fexofenadine is in a class of medications called antihistamines. It works by blocking the effects of histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergy symptoms. More info »

54 22 34 111
CYPROHEPTADINE HCL

Cyproheptadine relieves red... +

Cyproheptadine relieves red, irritated, itchy, watery eyes; sneezing; and runny nose caused by allergies, irritants in the air, and hay fever. It may also be used to relieve the itching of allergic skin conditions, and to treat hives, including hives caused by exposure to cold temperatures and by rubbing the skin. Cyproheptadine is also sometimes used to treat allergic reactions in people who have received blood products as part of medical treatment and to treat life-threatening allergic reactions after the symptoms have been brought under control with other medications. Cyproheptadine will help relieve symptoms but will not treat the cause of symptoms or speed recovery. Cyproheptadine is in a class of medications called antihistamines. It works by blocking the action of histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergic symptoms. More info »

53 16 R 35 57
GABAPENTIN

Treats certain types of sei... +

Treats certain types of seizures. Also treats Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) and pain caused by shingles (postherpetic neuralgia). More info »

51 21 36 62
METOCLOPRAMIDE HCL

Metoclopramide is used to r... +

Metoclopramide is used to relieve heartburn and speed the healing of ulcers and sores in the esophagus (tube that connects the mouth to the stomach) in people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD; condition in which backward flow of acid from the stomach causes heartburn and injury of the esophagus) that did not get better with other treatments. Metoclopramide is also used to relieve symptoms caused by slow stomach emptying in people who have diabetes. These symptoms include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, loss of appetite, and feeling of fullness that lasts long after meals. Metoclopramide is in a class of medications called prokinetic agents. It works by speeding the movement of food through the stomach and intestines. More info »

50 33 37 9
About This Data

ProPublica obtained prescribing data from Medicare’s prescription drug benefit, known as Part D, under the Freedom of Information Act. The data for 2011 includes nearly 1.2 billion prescriptions written by 1.6 million doctors, nurses and other providers. This database lists about 364,000 of those providers who wrote 50 or more prescriptions for at least one drug that year. About three-fourths went to patients 65 and older; the rest were for disabled patients. Methodology »

Caveats
  • No comparisons are shown if 10 or fewer prescribers in the state share this specialty.
  • The list of top drugs includes only those for which this provider wrote 50 or more prescriptions, but all prescriptions are counted in the summary totals at the top.
  • The calculation of “Risky Drugs to Seniors” does not include drugs for which a provider wrote 11 or fewer prescriptions because Medicare redacted the information to protect patient privacy.
  • Comparisons do not take into account the medical conditions of patients. Medications for certain conditions do not have generic alternatives, so patients would receive more expensive brand name drugs.
  • This provider's address and specialty information was last updated on Oct. 16, 2007.
  • Comparisons are based on each provider’s current address, not necessarily where he or she worked during the time period covered in this database.
Incorrect Info?

If you are a provider and you believe your address is incorrect, check the listing you created on the National Provider Identifier registry. If you change your listing, send a note to drugs@propublica.org and we will update your information. If you have other questions about this data, send a note to drugs@propublica.org.