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Prescriber Checkup

MELBA SOTOMAYOR M.D.

24 AVE SEVERIANO CUEVAS SUITE 201

Aguadilla | Puerto Rico | 00603

(787) 882-7380

Incorrect Info?
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At A Glance: This Prescriber in 2011

Specialist

Self-Reported Primary Specialty

See Other Prescribers With This Specialty in This State »

8,065Medicare Part D Prescriptions Filled, Including Refills

Rank: 92 out of 414

$830K Total Retail Price of All Prescriptions

Rank: 11 out of 414

779 Patients Receiving at Least One Drug in Part D
55%Patients 65 Years and Older
3% 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 Puerto Rico

Narcotics

53% of this provider’s 779 patients filled at least one prescription for a narcotic painkiller, compared to an average of 14%.

Antipsychotics to Seniors

10% of this provider’s 431 patients 65 and older filled at least one prescription for an antipsychotic, compared to an average of 2%.

Risky Drugs to Seniors

1% of this provider’s 4,210 prescriptions for patients 65 and older were for "potentially dangerous" drugs, compared to an average of 2%.

Brand Name Drugs

14% of this provider’s prescriptions were for brand-name drugs, compared to an average of 19%.

Prescription Price

$103 was the average price of a prescription from this provider, compared to $46 among peers.

Prescriptions per Patient

10 is the average number of prescriptions (including refills) per patient, compared to an average of 14.


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 Puerto Rico
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 »

1,646 730 1 5
TRAMADOL HCL-ACETAMINOPHEN

Treats short-term, medium t... +

Treats short-term, medium to medium-severe pain. More info »

1,110 382 N 10 2 14
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 »

553 474 3 25
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 »

541 475 4 35
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 »

281 198 A 5 55
PRAMIPEXOLE DIHYDROCHLORIDE

Pramipexole is used alone o... +

Pramipexole is used alone or with other medications to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD; a disorder of the nervous system that causes difficulties with movement, muscle control, and balance), including shaking of parts of the body, stiffness, slowed movements, and problems with balance. Pramipexole is also used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS; a condition that causes discomfort in the legs and a strong urge to move the legs, especially at night and when sitting or lying down). Pramipexole is in a class of medications called dopamine agonists. It works by acting in place of dopamine, a natural substance in the brain that is needed to control movement. More info »

278 254 6 142
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 »

267 171 7 20
FLUOXETINE HCL

Fluoxetine (Prozac) is used... +

Fluoxetine (Prozac) 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), some eating disorders, and panic attacks (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks). Fluoxetine (Sarafem) is used to relieve the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, including mood swings, irritability, bloating, and breast tenderness. Fluoxetine is in a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance. More info »

229 136 8 34
LEVETIRACETAM

Used to help control certai... +

Used to help control certain types of seizures caused by epilepsy. This medicine is an antiepileptic. More info »

148 86 9 175
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 »

147 66 10 6
NABUMETONE

Treats pain caused by arthr... +

Treats pain caused by arthritis. This is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). More info »

136 20 11 31
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 »

126 33 N 12 46
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 »

98 59 13 10
PHENYTOIN SODIUM EXTENDED

Phenytoin is used to contro... +

Phenytoin is used to control certain type of seizures, and to treat and prevent seizures that may begin during or after surgery to the brain or nervous system. Phenytoin is in a class of medications called anticonvulsants. It works by decreasing abnormal electrical activity in the brain. More info »

87 54 14 252
TIZANIDINE HCL

Tizanidine is used to relie... +

Tizanidine is used to relieve the spasms and increased muscle tone caused by multiple sclerosis (MS, a disease in which the nerves do not function properly and patients may experience weakness, numbness, loss of muscle coordination and problems with vision, speech, and bladder control), stroke, or brain or spinal injury. Tizanidine is in a class of medications called skeletal muscle relaxants. It works by slowing action in the brain and nervous system to allow the muscles to relax. More info »

78 15 264
LYRICA

Treats nerve and muscle pai... +

Treats nerve and muscle pain caused by diabetes, shingles, fibromyalgia, or a spinal cord injury. Also treats partial-onset seizures in adults. More info »

72 14 16 81
TEGRETOL XR 71 36 17 401
OXYCODONE-ACETAMINOPHEN

Used to relieve moderate to... +

Used to relieve moderate to severe pain. More info »

70 N 18 102
AVONEX 70 11 18 402
BUPROPION HCL SR

Bupropion (Aplenzin, Wellbu... +

Bupropion (Aplenzin, Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL) is used to treat depression. Bupropion (Wellbutrin XL) is also used to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD; episodes of depression that occur in the fall and winter each year). Bupropion (Zyban) is used to help people stop smoking. Bupropion is in a class of medications called antidepressants. It works by increasing certain types of activity in the brain. More info »

68 29 20 129
RANITIDINE HCL

Ranitidine is used to treat... +

Ranitidine is used to treat ulcers; gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which backward flow of acid from the stomach causes heartburn and injury of the food pipe (esophagus); and conditions where the stomach produces too much acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Over-the-counter ranitidine is used to prevent and treat symptoms of heartburn associated with acid indigestion and sour stomach. Ranitidine is in a class of medications called H2 blockers. It decreases the amount of acid made in the stomach. More info »

66 18 21 7
CARBIDOPA-LEVODOPA

The combination of levodopa... +

The combination of levodopa and carbidopa is used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease and Parkinson's-like symptoms that may develop after encephalitis (swelling of the brain) or injury to the nervous system caused by carbon monoxide poisoning or manganese poisoning. Parkinson's symptoms, including tremors (shaking), stiffness, and slowness of movement, are caused by a lack of dopamine, a natural substance usually found in the brain. Levodopa is in a class of medications called central nervous system agents. It works by being converted to dopamine in the brain. Carbidopa is in a class of medications called decarboxylase inhibitors. It works by preventing levodopa from being broken down before it reaches the brain. This allows for a lower dose of levodopa, which causes less nausea and vomiting. More info »

59 51 22 171
NAMENDA

Treats dementia (memory los... +

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

58 44 23 63
ETODOLAC

Treats pain caused by arthr... +

Treats pain caused by arthritis and other medical problems. This is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). More info »

56 21 24 101
DIVALPROEX SODIUM ER

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 »

54 11 25 155
AZILECT 53 41 26 303
AMITRIPTYLINE HCL

Amitriptyline is used to tr... +

Amitriptyline is used to treat symptoms of depression. Amitriptyline is in a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. It works by increasing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain that are needed to maintain mental balance. More info »

52 16 R 27 76
PAROXETINE HCL

Paroxetine tablets, suspens... +

Paroxetine tablets, suspension (liquid), and extended-release (long-acting) tablets are used to treat depression, panic disorder (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks), and social anxiety disorder (extreme fear of interacting with others or performing in front of others that interferes with normal life). Paroxetine tablets and suspension are also used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (bothersome thoughts that won't go away and the need to perform certain actions over and over), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; excessive worrying that is difficult to control), and posttraumatic stress disorder (disturbing psychological symptoms that develop after a frightening experience). Paroxetine extended-release tablets are also used to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD, physical and psychological symptoms that occur before the onset of the menstrual period each month). Paroxetine is in a class of medications called selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance. More info »

51 31 28 33
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 Sept. 15, 2010.
  • 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.