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Prescriber Checkup

THOMAS COTTON M.D.

At A Glance: This Prescriber in 2011

Internal Medicine

Self-Reported Primary Specialty

See Other Prescribers With This Specialty in This State »

8,495Medicare Part D Prescriptions Filled, Including Refills

Rank: 70 out of 195

$392K Total Retail Price of All Prescriptions

Rank: 80 out of 195

204 Patients Receiving at Least One Drug in Part D
92%Patients 65 Years and Older
61% 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 Nebraska

Narcotics

38% of this provider’s 204 patients filled at least one prescription for a narcotic painkiller, compared to an average of 19%.

Antipsychotics to Seniors

19% of this provider’s 187 patients 65 and older filled at least one prescription for an antipsychotic, compared to an average of 1%.

Risky Drugs to Seniors

1% of this provider’s 7,873 prescriptions for patients 65 and older were for "potentially dangerous" drugs, compared to an average of 1%.

Brand Name Drugs

18% of this provider’s prescriptions were for brand-name drugs, compared to an average of 21%.

Prescription Price

$46 was the average price of a prescription from this provider, compared to $53 among peers.

Prescriptions per Patient

42 is the average number of prescriptions (including refills) per patient, compared to an average of 23.


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.

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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.

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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 Nebraska
WARFARIN SODIUM

Warfarin is used to prevent... +

Warfarin is used to prevent blood clots from forming or growing larger in your blood and blood vessels. It is prescribed for people with certain types of irregular heartbeat, people with prosthetic (replacement or mechanical) heart valves, and people who have suffered a heart attack. Warfarin is also used to treat or prevent venous thrombosis (swelling and blood clot in a vein) and pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lung). Warfarin is in a class of medications called anticoagulants ('blood thinners'). It works by decreasing the clotting ability of the blood. More info »

433 420 1 6
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 »

326 314 2 1
FUROSEMIDE

Treats fluid retention (ede... +

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

314 275 3 5
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 »

260 238 4 7
MIRTAZAPINE

Treats depression. +

Treats depression. More info »

255 255 5 45
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 »

240 210 6 10
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 »

210 210 N 7 18
POTASSIUM CHLORIDE

Potassium is needed to main... +

Potassium is needed to maintain good health. More info »

193 169 8 9
DONEPEZIL HCL

Donepezil is used to treat ... +

Donepezil is used to treat dementia (a brain disorder that affects the ability to remember, think clearly, communicate, and perform daily activities and may cause changes in mood and personality) associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD; a brain disease that slowly destroys the memory and the ability to think, learn, communicate and handle daily activities). Donepezil is in a class of medications called cholinesterase inhibitors. It improves mental function (such as memory, attention, social interaction, reasoning and language abilities, and ability to perform activities of daily living) by increasing the amount of a certain naturally occurring substance in the brain. Donepezil may improve the ability to think and remember or slow the loss of these abilities in people who have AD. However, donepezil will not cure AD or prevent the loss of mental abilities at some time in the future. More info »

180 163 9 29
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 »

176 171 10 4
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 »

163 157 11 2
NAMENDA

Treats dementia (memory los... +

Treats dementia (memory loss and mental changes) that is a sign of Alzheimer's disease. More info »

158 130 12 34
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 »

143 140 13 3
SEROQUEL

Treats schizophrenia and sy... +

Treats schizophrenia and symptoms of bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness). Used together with other medicines to treat major depressive disorder (MDD). More info »

128 114 A 14 48
SERTRALINE HCL

Sertraline is used to treat... +

Sertraline is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (bothersome thoughts that won't go away and the need to perform certain actions over and over), panic attacks (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks), posttraumatic stress disorder (disturbing psychological symptoms that develop after a frightening experience), and social anxiety disorder (extreme fear of interacting with others or performing in front of others that interferes with normal life). It is also used to relieve the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, including mood swings, irritability, bloating, and breast tenderness. Sertraline is in a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by increasing the amounts of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance. More info »

127 126 15 23
OXYCODONE-ACETAMINOPHEN

Used to relieve moderate to... +

Used to relieve moderate to severe pain. More info »

124 122 N 16 88
POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL 3350

Treats occasional constipat... +

Treats occasional constipation. More info »

112 109 17 52
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 »

95 69 18 13
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 »

88 76 19 14
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 »

84 84 20 11
ALENDRONATE SODIUM

Alendronate is used to trea... +

Alendronate is used to treat and prevent osteoporosis (a condition in which the bones become thin and weak and break easily) in women who have undergone menopause (''change of life,'' end of menstrual periods) and to treat osteoporosis in men. Alendronate is also used to treat osteoporosis in men and women who are taking corticosteroids (a type of medication that may cause osteoporosis in some patients). Alendronate is also used to treat Paget's disease of bone (a condition in which the bones are soft and weak and may be deformed, painful, or easily broken). Alendronate is in a class of medications called bisphosphonates. It works by preventing bone breakdown and increasing bone density (thickness). More info »

84 84 20 16
CARBAMAZEPINE

Treats different types of s... +

Treats different types of seizures. Also used to treat nerve pain and bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness. More info »

81 81 22 203
ATENOLOL

Treats high blood pressure ... +

Treats high blood pressure and angina (chest pain). May also lower the risk of repeated heart attacks. More info »

81 80 22 15
CARVEDILOL

Treats high blood pressure ... +

Treats high blood pressure and congestive heart failure (CHF). Also reduces the risk of death from a heart attack. This medicine is a beta-blocker. More info »

79 59 24 24
CITALOPRAM HBR

Citalopram is used to treat... +

Citalopram is used to treat depression. Citalopram is in a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is thought to work by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance. More info »

79 79 24 19
AZITHROMYCIN

Treats infections caused by... +

Treats infections caused by certain bacteria. This medicine is a macrolide antibiotic. More info »

79 73 24 57
NYSTATIN

Treats fungus infections in... +

Treats fungus infections in the mouth, throat, and intestines. Belongs to a class of drugs called antifungals. More info »

78 76 27 180
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 »

74 74 28 17
DIVALPROEX SODIUM

Treats seizures (epilepsy).... +

Treats seizures (epilepsy). Also used to treat the manic phase of bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) and to prevent migraine headaches. Belongs to a class of drugs called anticonvulsants. More info »

71 71 29 138
HYDROCODONE-ACETAMINOPHEN

Used to relieve moderate to... +

Used to relieve moderate to severe pain. More info »

68 59 N 30 8
ALBUTEROL SULFATE

Albuterol is used to preven... +

Albuterol is used to prevent and treat wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and chest tightness caused by lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; a group of diseases that affect the lungs and airways). Albuterol inhalation aerosol is also used to prevent breathing difficulties during exercise. Albuterol is in a class of medications called bronchodilators. It works by relaxing and opening air passages to the lungs to make breathing easier. More info »

65 63 31 105
PREDNISONE

Treats inflammation (swelli... +

Treats inflammation (swelling), severe allergies, complications of chronic illnesses, and other medical problems. Also used to decrease some symptoms of cancer. This medicine is a steroid. More info »

63 61 32 28
LIDOCAINE HCL

Lidocaine viscous, a local ... +

Lidocaine viscous, a local anesthetic, is used to treat the pain of a sore or irritated mouth and throat often associated with cancer chemotherapy and certain medical procedures. Lidocaine viscous is not normally used for sore throats due to cold, flu, or infections such as strep throat. More info »

63 57 32 258
LANTUS

Treats diabetes mellitus. I... +

Treats diabetes mellitus. Insulin is a hormone that helps get sugar from the blood to the muscles, where it is used for energy. This type of insulin usually works longer than regular insulin. More info »

63 63 32 41
CEFTRIAXONE

Treats infections caused by... +

Treats infections caused by certain types of bacteria. This medicine is a cephalosporin antibiotic. More info »

61 55 35 259
IPRATROPIUM-ALBUTEROL

The combination of albutero... +

The combination of albuterol and ipratropium is used to prevent wheezing, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, and coughing in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; a group of diseases that affect the lungs and airways) such as chronic bronchitis (swelling of the air passages that lead to the lungs) and emphysema (damage to the air sacs in the lungs). Albuterol and ipratropium combination is used by people whose symptoms have not been controlled by a single inhaled medication. Albuterol and ipratropium are in a class of medications called bronchodilators. Albuterol and ipratropium combination works by relaxing and opening the air passages to the lungs to make breathing easier. More info »

61 60 35 158
OXYCODONE HCL

Oxycodone is used to reliev... +

Oxycodone is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics. It works by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain. More info »

59 59 N 37 121
OXYBUTYNIN CHLORIDE ER

Oxybutynin is used to contr... +

Oxybutynin is used to control urgent, frequent, or uncontrolled urination in people who have overactive bladder (a condition in which the bladder muscles have uncontrollable spasms), spina bifida (a disability that occurs when the spinal cord does not close properly before birth), or other conditions that affect the bladder muscles. Oxybutynin is in a class of medications called anticholinergics. It works by relaxing the bladder muscles to prevent urgent, frequent, or uncontrolled urination. More info »

57 45 38 102
KLOR-CON 10

Potassium is essential for ... +

Potassium is essential for the proper functioning of the heart, kidneys, muscles, nerves, and digestive system. Usually the food you eat supplies all of the potassium you need. However, certain diseases (e.g., kidney disease and gastrointestinal disease with vomiting and diarrhea) and drugs, especially diuretics ('water pills'), remove potassium from the body. Potassium supplements are taken to replace potassium losses and prevent potassium deficiency. More info »

56 56 39 117
ISOSORBIDE MONONITRATE ER 56 56 39 53
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 »

52 52 41 21
TRAZODONE HCL

Trazodone is used to treat ... +

Trazodone is used to treat depression. Trazodone is in a class of medications called serotonin modulators. It works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance. More info »

51 51 42 51
BACLOFEN

Treats muscle spasms caused... +

Treats muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury or disease. This medicine is a muscle relaxer. More info »

50 35 43 153
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 June 2, 2011.
  • 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.