Lamictal/Marijuana Interaction?

Discussion in 'Medicinal Marijuana' started by chiligumbo, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. Bugaboo

    Bugaboo New Member

    I take lamictal, depakote, zonegran, and keppra for epilepsy and have been in different amounts fir three years. I smoke daily to counter the nasty side effects of my meeds and frankly cuz the ganja controlls my seizures better than my meds, and in those three years I've never had any kind of psychotic break...............
    Ever.
  2. as1504

    as1504 New Member

    Same meds

    I take Lamictal and Keppra too (bipolar and seizure disorder). I also take Lexapro, Welbutrin (with my neurologist's knowledge) and Seroquel. and I have never had a problem with smoking. I also take Ativan, so the sedative might keep me from freaking out. I have never had a psychotic break which Ativan would not prevent.

    Everyone responds in a different way when these medications are taken alone, so one's threshold for potential disaster is increased with each medication added. Those who have had bad reactions after smoking may have just been teetering on a bad medication line and the additive of a depressant (weed) may have tipped the scales. Everyone's biochemistry and tolerance for neurological changes is not the same and people with an already low threshold for psychosis, mania, suicide, or other psychiatric emergencies (those of us with mental illnesses) have to take into account that ANY mood altering substance could send us into a tailspin. People who take MAOI drugs can't even eat cheese without risking hepatic complications! So there you go. Try talking to your doctor, but anyone who has a medication cocktail that works for them in terms of controlling and effectively treating your disease would be crazy to abandon it for weed. It's hard to find that balance and you have to privilege your health over your pleasure. It blows, but...
  3. Boris926

    Boris926 New Member

    Benzos counteracting Lamictal/Weed panic?

    Like others, I joined specifically to post on this thread.

    I started taking Lamictal 200 mg/day in 2006. Over the first year, I smoked small to moderate amounts (2 or 3 hits at a time) and would occasionally feel some anxiety and tightness. In November of 2007 I smoked a significantly larger amount (8-10 hits of much stronger stuff) and had a horrific experience like the ones mentioned here. The acute phase lasted about 3 hours followed by another 3 hours of tapering. I experienced extremely elevated pulse, tightness in muscles, impaired vision, feelings of extreme sensitivity in my skin, difficulty breathing.

    Every time since then that I've tried to smoke more than 1 small hit, I've had a similar reaction. The most I can handle is a very tiny hit held in for no longer than 1 second. Any more and I get this horrible reaction described above. (Just to clarify, I'm still on Lamictal, and have taken it almost every day since 2006)

    HOWEVER...... And this is a big however. Whenever I take a large amount of benzos (usually Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan) the day before or several hours before I smoke, it pretty much eliminates this reaction, and I have the most wonderful, peaceful, tranquil, euphoric high.

    Have any other Lamictal/Weed users experienced this? Does anyone with scientific or medical knowledge have an explanation for why the benzos totally counteract the lamictal/weed horror show?

    I haven't smoked pot in over a year due to the sheer terror of the experience, but I'm wondering if several times a year it might be ok to take a moderate dose of benzos and combine with a small to moderate dose of weed...Any thoughts?
  4. janekathy1

    janekathy1 New Member

    Lamictal is the brand name for lamotrigine.

    I have bipolar II, have been on lamictal for a year and a half, smoked pretty much regularly, and have never had psychotic problems at all. It sounds so difficult. The lamictal has definitely helped even out my mood, meaning no severely disruptive hypomania since I've been on it. No help for the depression, though. (I've added prozac, that's another thread!)

    I think I'm just lucky and don't have any "psychotic tendencies" that can be aggravated by pot and other drugs. A former boyfriend of mine smoked sometimes heavily before I met him with no serious problems. Five years later when he smoked with me he had small frightening visual hallucinations, like movements at the corner of his vision, and extremely upsetting thoughts. So he didn't smoke. He was high-strung anyway, but the sweetest guy when he wasn't overcome by difficult emotions.
  5. HighLow

    HighLow New Member

    I've been on Lamictal for almost two years as part of my treatment for Anxitey/depression (PTSD).
    I haven't experienced and interaction with smoke, but I did have interation issues with coffee. I switched to decaf and I'm good to go. FWIW, I take Lamictal in the morning and I only smoke at night.
  6. Boris926

    Boris926 New Member

    It's not exactly a psychotic experience I'm having (WAS having actually, since I stopped smoking over a year ago). It's a mainly physical response: accelerated pulse, extreme muscle tension, fading vision/frames, difficulty breathing, skin sensitivity. I didn't really experience hallucinations or delusions. My thoughts were definitely racing, and I had many bad thoughts or images in my brain, but I wouldn't call them hallucinations.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Does anyone have any more information about the interaction of convulsants/mood stabilizers and weed?
  7. co0lk1ll

    co0lk1ll New Member

    Taking hallucinogens when you are mentally unhealthy is a bad idea, which is what your doctor will tell you (Not a doctor). Especially when trying to combine a hallucinogen with pharmaceuticals. Just not a good idea. Apparently Dedbr has no problems with it, more power to him. But IMO you shouldn't be taking any type of hallucinogen if you are not mentally healthy.
  8. Dedbr

    Dedbr Domestic War Veteran

    I have no problem with it maybe because I'm an old burned out stoner....;)

    Ded.....
  9. WhatUC

    WhatUC New Member

    Lamictal (lamotrigine) may be a beautiful solution to many peoples psychological infirmities: based on so much empirical feedback (from this thread and others) I find the point made by co0lk1ll on 10-14-11 so simply stated and offer a compelling study that flies in the face of anyone advancing the notion that multiple chemicals (script or herbal) may help individuals who are begging for hope with their mental health...
    so look for the editorial submitted December of 2007 by pharmacologist who does research for Big Pharma postulating the following: "Are Antidepressants Mood DeStabilizers?" and that maybe a mood-stabilizer like lamictal (lamotrigine time released) should perhaps be taken alone since antidepressants and/or other chemicals (including THC) may in fact destabilize one's brain chemistry.
    As surely as any of us who have used drugs/alcohol/herbs for "self-medicating" reasons appreciates, any foreign chemical we put/mix into our system is potentiating a greater problem in our treatment.
  10. WheezyLiam

    WheezyLiam New Member

    It sucks not having a straight answer to this, because just last Friday I gave weed a try for the first time. To put it in simple terms, I flipped out. After living through such a terrifying experience, I was feverishly searching for whatever the cause of my bad trip might have been. I happen to be on a low dose of Lamotrigine (25mg) and Citalopram (40mg) to deal with depression and OCD (the mental illness A-team) and have narrowed it down to either first-time intolerance to weed, or the fact that the cocktail of chemicals produce something whack in the brain. I'm planning on giving it another go without having any Lamotrigine in my system, but with the incredibly long half-life of the stuff, it's going to be a few weeks before I come to any sort of conclusion. Hate to beat a dead horse, but I just felt like adding to the discussion.

    Hello all! I have a question (sort of) regarding OCD, long term Depression, and Marijuana.
    You see, I suffer from pretty bad OCD, and with that comes depression. It's a terrible mental illness duo that i would never wish upon anyone if i had the chance. I am a newbie to smoking, actually tried it for the first time a couple weeks ago. The effects were far from euphoric, and what I felt was sheer terror, feeling as if I was going to die.
    However, when I was recovering from that experience a few days later, I noticed that my mind was not really focusing on my compulsions as much and my depression almost vanished. It's been about a week and two days since my trip and my OCD thoughts have since returned, stronger than usual, but I still am feeling happier than I was before I smoked the herb.
    My question to the forum: Do any of you suffer from OCD or long-term depression and are your marijuana habits helping "cure" these issues? I would love to hear any success stories about breaking free from the shackles of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and depression, but at the same time I need to be told the straight facts.

    (Side note: I am on Lamotrigine 25mg and Citalopram 40mg. Could the interaction between the meds and marijuana have caused the bad trip in the first place?)
  11. Good Sir

    Good Sir New Member

    I made an account just for this thread.

    I've been taking lamictol (200 mg) and smoking weed daily for a while. The difference is between INDICA and SATIVA. Whenever I smoke sativa, I get the terrible affects mentioned in the other posts. I havent smoked sativa in about a year for this reason. When smoking indica, I don't get the anxiety. I sometimes get the corner-of-vision hallucinations/illusions if I get very high, and rarely some chest pain/headaches but besides that I am fine.

    Diagnosed Bipolar II. I read a post from another site that said the same thing regarding indica and sativa. Those of you who had bad experiences, try smoking indica and post feedback.

    Sativa is known to cause a more energetic high. When on Lamictal, this translates into anxiety/paranoia. Indica hasn't betrayed me yet except for the above-mentioned side effects, the occasional headache, and severe depression (which is probably just a part of the Bipolar II)

    Hope this helps some of you.
  12. foxglove

    foxglove New Member

    woah...

    I just googled lamictal and marijuana on a jag just to see if there were any connection or anything to worry about. I started taking lamictal about two months ago for mood stabilizing. I have crazy fits of rage sometimes and feel like I have no control over it. Went to a psychiatrist and tried a few other things that didn't work and then he prescribed lamictal. It seriously has been a MIRACLE drug for me. I'm so even-keeled now and in generally good moods. I can deal with screaming kids...which, honestly, was the most compelling reason to get a hold of my moods. I didn't want to pass on that kind of energy and behavior (via nurture vs. nature) to my kids. I also wanted to be able to enjoy them more especially while so young. ANYWAY, I started smoking weed again just recently and I feel like it is beginning to reverse the benefits of lamictal. I'm getting back to getting irritated with everything . And that really bums me out to the point where I think I'll stop smoking. I'd rather get back to where I was then to get fucked up.

    My heart goes out to the folks who are having severe bad reactions to the combo (if that is what it is). But doesn't hurt to try and be somewhat scientific about your approach. Try cutting out the herb for a while and see if it does anything. I think you'll know pretty quickly if it is the case.
  13. InfectedWithMJ

    InfectedWithMJ New Member

    I am so glad I can take 100mg of Lamictal with weed for mood stabilization and it feels absolutely great. Lamictal chills me out like Xanax, but it doesn't prevent me from feeling and when I'm high I feel amazing :), while going through Xanax 1yr 2mg per day use.
  14. Sarin Kilgare

    Sarin Kilgare New Member

    34 Cauc. M. USA. Management.
    On and off cannabis consumer from 13-29, regular user since. 1gm/d, smoked, standard dosage. Consumption variance between occasional tokes over the day, to just burning it all in the evening.Lamictal prescribed for BPII. Std titration from 25-> 300 mgs. 25/50/100/200/300. Once over 100, split dosage 1/2 @ 2x/day.

    Results:
    25-100 mgs: Progressively better anti-depressant qualities from the Lamictal. Each move up the scale led to 3-9 days of increased irritability, anxiety, and that teasing edge of hypo-mania. 200mgs: Move up the scale caused less noticeable irritability, but the hypomania was stronger. 300mgs: Same as above, but with _strong_ but very, very occassional hypomania. (ie. hypersexuality, grandiosity, attitude control problems, aggression, etc.)

    With cannabis:
    All levels initially revealed the previously mentioned "LamiKick" where alcohol/cannabis effects are enhanced, however it faded as the change in dosage wore off. Otherwise normal "pot high." Note: Regularly consumed strain is mostly indica. Twice (over a three year period) I had a problem with anxiety, racing heart, shortness of breath, mild hallucinations, and onset hypomania after consuming marijuana. However this was in situations where cannabis consumption was _significantly_ higher than normal, and the symptoms alleviated as the marijuana wore off.

    CrazyMeds ( http://www.crazymeds.us/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Meds/Lamictal ) is quick to note how twitchy Lamictal is based on body, other meds, type of disorder, humidity, color of the room you are in, and the five second average of the surface temperature of the sun.

    I think one of their forums noted Sativas have a tendency to cause the hypomanic states: Agitation, enhanced paranoia, irritability, delusions, hallucinations, etc.

    Lamictal has wierd effects on people when one is titrating ONTO it, and below 150mg. So if the doc just put you on it, and you're not at the "maintenance dose," either lay off the weed or take it easy. Also, _give it time_! Most are aware of the quick onset, but it really takes time and a decent maintenance dose to actually get in there and work.

    TL;dr = What I've gathered:
    You're combining drugs... keep it simple, keep it small, and keep it slow.
    I highly recommend splitting any dosage over 100mgs to 1/2 dose twice daily (talk to your doctor) it helped a lot with the up and down of taking the Lamictal.
    Give the Lamictal time to work (90 days), your not going to see a consistent level response until you hit the maintenance dose, and don't miss/skip/ or dick with your dosage w/o your Docs say so!
    Smoke lightly until you know what'll happen, and try to stick to Indicas.
    Smoking lightly (Indicas) can help temper the hypomania.
    Oh, and take your Folate... again, ask your PsyDoc why.
  15. 413greenbirds

    413greenbirds New Member

    Hey man, I'm sorry Lamictal does that to you! I was on Effexor for a while and it gave me wicked mood swings, so i was prescribed Lamictal. I have depression, and if I smoke a lot of really strong weed it has the chance of worsening it, so I take Lamictal before bed if I do that. I don't smoke often and my depression is well-managed, but I could see how it would kill or ruin a high.
    I'm on a low dose of Lexapro now and it's working for me personally. However, weed reacts different with everyone just like any other med! And some meds just don't chill together in some people. In my opinion, you just gotta figure out what's more important for you, weed or stable meds. If weed is a huge part of your life, ask to go on different meds until you find a combo that works :)
    Stay cool, man.

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