- Signs, Symptoms And Side Effects Of Viibryd (Vilazodone) Abuse
- Viibryd: What Clinical Data can’t say‚Äîat least not yet
- How should I take Viibryd?
- individuals differ: Viibryd gives you dosing options
- Warnings and Precautions
- Adverse Reactions
- Viibryd Addiction and Abuse
- Antidepressant May Aid in Treatment of Anxiety
- Lexapro vs. Xanax: Differences, similarities, and which is better for you
- What are the main differences between Lexapro vs. Xanax?
- Conditions treated by Lexapro vs. Xanax
- Is Lexapro vs. Xanax more effective?
- Coverage and cost comparison of Lexapro vs. Xanax
- Common side effects of Lexapro vs. Xanax
- Drug interactions of Lexapro vs. Xanax
- Warnings of Lexapro vs. Xanax
- Frequently asked questions about Lexapro vs. Xanax
- What is Lexapro?
- What is Xanax?
- Are Lexapro vs. Xanax the same?
- Is Lexapro vs. Xanax better?
- Can I use Lexapro vs. Xanax while pregnant?
- Can I use Lexapro vs. Xanax with alcohol?
- Does Lexapro reduce anxiety?
- How long does it take for Lexapro to work for anxiety?
- Does Lexapro make you sleepy?
- Can Lexapro help you get off Xanax?
- Mixing Marijuana with Other Drugs: What You Need to Know
- Weed – America’s Favorite Illegal Substance
- If You’re Going To Get High, You Should Have All The Facts
- The Straight Scoop On Marijuana Drug Interactions
- Mixing Marijuana and Depressants – Not a Great Idea
- Drinking Too Much Alcohol And Using Too Much Weed Can Lead To A Major Buzzkill
- If You Combine Benzos and Weed, You’re Putting Your Life on the Line
- Mixing Marijuana And Suboxone – Don’t Do It
- Can You Mix Marijuana And Antidepressants?
- Different Types of Antidepressants and Marijuana Drug Interactions
- Be Aware of Cannabis Drug Interactions and Stay Safe
Signs, Symptoms And Side Effects Of Viibryd (Vilazodone) Abuse
Viibryd is an SSRI, a class of antidepressants, that is used to treat major forms of depression. Vilazodone is not sold over-the-counter and can only be obtained from a prescription.
Before starting a Viibryd prescription, disclose all past medical history and previous medications to a doctor. Certain medications, like NSAIDs and other SSRI antidepressants, may cause negative interactions. Do not take any MAO inhibitors while taking Viibryd, as it has caused fatal interactions. Notify a doctor if an MAO inhibitor has been taken recently. Do not take vilazodone with alcohol.
A doctor will usually prescribe vilazodone in smaller amounts as a once a day tablet to help one’s body adjust to the chemical changes taking place. When someone starts a new dosage for vilazodone, they will usually experience minor side effects and increased suicidal thoughts, as with most antidepressants. It is important to take Viibryd exactly as prescribed to avoid serious side effects and withdrawal symptoms. Never exceed or decrease the dosage amount. Do not suddenly stop taking Viibryd, as it could lead to increased withdrawal symptoms and persistent side effects.
Most side effects from vilazodone will subside over the course of the treatment and usually do not need medical attention. It is important to monitor the severity and persistence of the following side effects so a doctor can find a plan to alleviate some of the symptoms.
Some of the more common side effects of vilazodone are:
- Dry mouth
Other side effects occasionally take place, though they are less common. These side effects are:
- Muscle pains
- Vision problems (blurred vision, decreased vision)
- Stomach cramps
- Sleep problems (insomnia, abnormal and disturbing dreams)
Viibryd: What Clinical Data can’t say‚Äîat least not yet
At a Jan. 24 news conference, Clinical Data announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Viibryd (vilazodone HCl tablets) for the treatment of adults with major depressive disorder (MDD). Clinical Data says that Viibryd will be made available in U.S. pharmacies in the second quarter of 2011.
“Viibryd is the only antidepressant that is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and 5HT1A receptor partial agonist,” said Drew Fromkin, President and CEO of Clinical Data. “It is also the first drug that the company has developed, and to have received marketing approval from the FDA on its first review is a significant milestone for Clinical Data.”
According to Chief Medical Officer Carol R. Reed, MD, the efficacy of Viibryd as a treatment for MDD was established in two 8-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in adults who met the criteria for MDD.
In these studies, patients were titrated over two weeks to a dose of 40 mg of Viibryd once daily. Viibryd was superior to placebo in the improvement of depressive symptoms as measured by the mean change from baseline to week 8 in the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) total score.
She adds that Viibryd was demonstrated to be safe in clinical studies, noting that in placebo-controlled, Phase III studies, the most commonly observed adverse reactions in Viibryd-treated patients were diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and insomnia.
Viibryd has not been associated with any clinically important changes in vital tests of liver function, ECG including QT interval, or vital signs. And, it had no effect on body weight (based on mean changes from baseline) in the 8-week studies.
Reed points out that Viibryd is a novel chemistry that differs significantly from SSRIs because it not only inhibits serotonin reuptake, but also is “a very potent and selective agonist for serotonin 1A receptors.” She adds that these receptors “are thought to be especially active in areas of the brain that are believed to control mood.”
The chemistry thus combines the reuptake inhibition of an SSRI with a direct stimulatory effect on the post-synaptic neuron to which it binds. Reed says the net result is thought to be increased serotonin activity.
Viibryd’s novel action and its safety profile data bode well for its sales potential in the $12 billion U.S. market for antidepressants, given the wide range of side effects that individuals may encounter when receiving antidepressant therapy, in particular the sexual side effects associated with many SSRI medications and the weight gain and metabolic concerns associated with a range of antidepression treatments.
FDA: Not enough data to claim fewer sexual side effects
But the most interesting findings in Viibryd studies, and the key to its potential blockbuster impact in the market, aren’t referenced on its new FDA labeling. There’s a difference of opinion between the FDA and the company about data from studies evaluating the impact of vilazodone on sexual function during MDD treatment.
The latest study, whose results were released at the U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress, concludes that vilazidone’s impact on sexual function is similar to that of placebo. Given that treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs), involving sexual function affect 40 percent of those receiving SSRI antidepressant treatment and are a top reason for treatment noncompliance, this is a remarkable claim.
Too remarkable, apparently, for investigators at the FDA. In the company’s news conference, Ross stated, “You may have noticed that our data from quantitiative measures of sexual function are not included in our labeling. In our discussions with FDA, it was determined that these data were not appropriate for the label at this time.”
Sandy Walsh, a spokesperson in the FDA’s public affairs office, consulted with FDA officials and explained, “It’s a situation where better data are needed. All we have now are spontaneous reports from controlled clinical studies suggesting there might be some risk of sexual dysfunction, and also some more specific assessments of sexual function in a few controlled trials that show a mixed and difficult-to-interpret picture.
“What is missing—and what is needed—is a well-done, controlled trial including vilazodone, an active comparator that is known to cause sexual dysfunction (for assay sensitivity), and placebo, and that includes the kinds of specific instruments that are well-accepted (CSFQ or ASEX). It would be up to the drug company to make this investment. The current drug labeling suggests there might be sexual dysfunction.”
Bill Glazer, MD, a veteran researcher who authors Behavioral Healthcare’s Rx Resources column, understood the agency’s caution, commenting, “We’ve seen enough drugs come out where the early promise of a different side effect profile just doesn’t work out.”
He suggested that medication like Viibryd would “likely have to have two positive findings—in head-to head comparison studies with other antidepressants, showing statistically significant differences in the level of sexual dysfunctions.”
Dr. Reed stated that Clinical Data is confident that its data accurately represent the clinical profile of Viibryd and that the company is committed to “additional discussions with the FDA with regard to options for labeling,” however she did not comment on whether the company would proceed with the studies suggested by the FDA.
How should I take Viibryd?
Indication and Usage
VIIBRYD® (vilazodone HCI) is a prescription medicine indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults.
Important Risk Information What is the most important information I should know about VIIBRYD?
VIIBRYD and other antidepressant medicines may cause serious side effects. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the symptoms described below, or call 911 if there is an emergency.
WARNING: SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS
Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts or actions in some people 24 years of age and younger. Watch closely for worsening depression and for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Call your healthcare provider right away if you notice any new or sudden changes in mood, behavior, thoughts or feelings. Pay particular attention when VIIBRYD is started or when the dose is changed.
VIIBRYD is not approved for use in patients under 18.
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you:
- Attempts to commit suicide; acting on dangerous impulses; acting aggressive or violent; thoughts about suicide or dying; new or worse depression, anxiety, or panic attacks; feeling agitated, restless, angry or irritable; trouble sleeping; an increase in activity or talking more than normal (mania); or other unusual changes in behavior or mood
Serotonin Syndrome: Agitation, hallucinations, coma or other changes in mental status; coordination problems or muscle twitching; fast heartbeat, high or low blood pressure; sweating or fever; nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; muscle stiffness or tightness.
Increased chance of bleeding: VIIBRYD and other antidepressant medicines may increase your chance of bleeding or bruising, especially if you take the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), or aspirin.
Manic episodes: Greatly increased energy; severe trouble sleeping; racing thoughts; reckless behavior; unusually grand ideas; excessive happiness or irritability; talking more or faster than usual.
Discontinuation symptoms: Do not suddenly stop VIIBRYD without first talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping VIIBRYD suddenly may cause serious symptoms including: flu-like symptoms (eg, headache, sweating, nausea); anxiety, high or low mood, irritability, feeling restless or sleepy; dizziness, electric shock-like sensations, tremor, and confusion.
Seizures or convulsions.
Glaucoma (angle-closure glaucoma): Many antidepressants, including VIIBRYD, may cause an eye problem called angle-closure glaucoma. Call your healthcare provider if you have changes in your vision or eye pain.
Low salt (sodium) levels in the blood: Elderly people may be at greater risk for this. Symptoms may include headache; weakness or feeling unsteady; confusion, problems concentrating or thinking or memory problems.
Who should not take VIIBRYD?
- Do not take any drugs known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), including linezolid (an antibiotic), with VIIBRYD or within 14 days of stopping VIIBRYD
- Do not start VIIBRYD if you started or stopped taking an MAOI in the last 14 days
People who take VIIBRYD close in time to taking an MAOI may have serious or even life-threatening side effects.
What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking VIIBRYD?
- Tell your healthcare provider about any medical conditions or if you:
- Have liver or kidney problems
- Have or had mania, bipolar disorder (manic depression), seizures or convulsions
- Have or had bleeding problems. VIIBRYD may increase your chance of bleeding or bruising
- Have low salt (sodium) levels in your blood or are taking diuretics (water pills)
- Drink alcohol
- Are pregnant, breastfeeding or are planning to become pregnant or to breastfeed
- Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you are taking or plan to take, especially:
- Triptans used to treat migraine headaches; medicines used to treat mood, anxiety, psychotic or thought disorders, including tricyclics, lithium, SSRIs, SNRIs, buspirone, amphetamines, or antipsychotics; tramadol, mephenytoin (Mesantoin) or over-the-counter supplements such as tryptophan or St. John’s Wort; this is necessary to avoid a potentially life-threatening condition
- Aspirin, NSAID pain relievers, or blood thinners (eg, warfarin, Coumadin, or Jantoven) because they may increase the risk of bleeding
- Diuretics (water pills)
What should I avoid when taking VIIBRYD?
- Until you know how VIIBRYD affects you, you should not drive, operate heavy machinery, or engage in other dangerous activities. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking VIIBRYD.
What are the most common side effects of VIIBRYD?
- The most common side effects in people taking VIIBRYD include diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, and trouble sleeping.
- Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of VIIBRYD. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
Please also see Medication Guide within the full Prescribing Information.
Please also see Medication Guide within the full Prescribing Information.
individuals differ: Viibryd gives you dosing options
Indication and Usage
VIIBRYD (vilazodone HCI) is indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults.
Important Safety Information
WARNING: SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS
Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in patients aged 24 years and younger in short-term studies. Monitor closely for clinical worsening and for emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
The safety and efficacy of VIIBRYD have not been established in pediatric patients.
- VIIBRYD is contraindicated in patients taking, or within 14 days of stopping, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), including MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue, because of an increased risk of serotonin syndrome.
Warnings and Precautions
- Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior: Monitor all antidepressant-treated patients for clinical worsening and emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, especially during the initial few months of treatment and when changing the dose. Counsel family members or caregivers of patients to monitor for changes in behavior and to alert the healthcare provider. Consider changing the therapeutic regimen, including possibly discontinuing VIIBRYD, in patients whose depression is persistently worse, or who are experiencing emergent suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
- Serotonin Syndrome: SNRIs and SSRIs, including VIIBRYD, can cause a potentially life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome when taken alone, but especially when used concomitantly with other serotonergic agents (including triptans, tricyclic antidepressants, fentanyl, lithium, tramadol, tryptophan, buspirone, amphetamines, and St. John’s Wort) and with drugs that impair metabolism of serotonin, ie, MAOIs. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome were noted in 0.1% of VIIBRYD-treated patients in premarketing clinical trials. Serotonin syndrome signs and symptoms may include mental status changes (eg, agitation, hallucinations, delirium, and coma), autonomic instability (eg, tachycardia, labile blood pressure, dizziness, diaphoresis, flushing, hyperthermia), neuromuscular symptoms (eg, tremor, rigidity, myoclonus, hyperreflexia, incoordination), seizures, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Monitor all patients taking VIIBRYD for the emergence of serotonin syndrome. If symptoms occur, discontinue VIIBRYD and any concomitant serotonergic agents immediately and initiate supportive treatment. If concomitant use of VIIBRYD with other serotonergic drugs is clinically warranted, inform patients of the increased risk for serotonin syndrome.
- Increased Risk of Bleeding: Drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake inhibition, including VIIBRYD, increase the risk of bleeding events. Inform patients about the risk of bleeding associated with the concomitant use of VIIBRYD and aspirin, NSAIDs, other antiplatelet drugs, warfarin, or other anticoagulants. For patients taking warfarin, carefully monitor coagulation indices when initiating, titrating, or discontinuing VIIBRYD.
- Activation of Mania/Hypomania: Before initiating VIIBRYD, screen patients for any personal or family history of bipolar disorder, mania, or hypomania. Treating a depressive episode with VIIBRYD or another antidepressant in a patient with bipolar disorder may precipitate a mixed/manic episode. In controlled clinical trials, patients with bipolar disorder were excluded; however, symptoms of mania/hypomania were noted in 0.1% of undiagnosed patients treated with VIIBRYD. VIIBRYD is not approved for use in treating bipolar depression.
- Discontinuation Syndrome: Adverse reactions may occur upon discontinuation of serotonergic antidepressants such as VIIBRYD, particularly after abrupt discontinuation. Gradual dose reduction is recommended, instead of abrupt cessation, whenever possible.
- Seizures: VIIBRYD should be prescribed with caution in patients with a seizure disorder.
- Angle-Closure Glaucoma: The pupillary dilation that occurs following use of many antidepressants, including VIIBRYD, may trigger an angle closure attack in a patient with anatomically narrow angles who does not have a patent iridectomy. Avoid use of VIIBRYD in patients with untreated anatomically narrow angles.
- Hyponatremia: Hyponatremia may occur from treatment with SNRIs and SSRIs, including VIIBRYD. Elderly patients, patients taking diuretics, and those who are volume-depleted may be at greater risk of developing hyponatremia while taking VIIBRYD. In patients with symptomatic hyponatremia, discontinue VIIBRYD and institute appropriate medical intervention.
Please also see the full Prescribing Information.
Viibryd Addiction and Abuse
Vilazodone typically takes a few weeks before noticing the effects, but some reports from patients had shown several months before vilazodone effects took place.
Take the required dosage as prescribed, never reduce or exceed the dosage without first consulting a doctor as it could potentially lead to withdrawal symptoms and severe side effects. One must carefully follow instructions off the prescription label, as well as the directions a doctor provides.
Vilazodone is taken orally as a tablet and is prescribed in dosage amounts of 10 mg, 20 mg or 40 mg per day, although doctors will periodically raise or lower the dosage depending on how Viibryd affects the patient. The initial dose of Viibryd is usually 10 mg per day for seven days; then the dosage is increased to 20 mg per day. The maintenance dose for vilazodone is 40 mg. Most doctors will advise taking vilazodone with food.
If a Vilazodone dose is missed, it may be okay to take the dose once remembered, depending on how close it is until the next dosage cycle. It is recommended to skip the dose if it is close to the next cycle to avoid side effects from overuse. Never use alcohol while taking vilazodone.
Viibryd may cause side effects during the first few weeks of treatment due to the unfamiliar reactions. These side effects differ between people and normally subside as the body adjusts to Viibryd.
Some of the more common side effects of Viibryd are dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, problems sleeping (insomnia) and dry mouth. Some of the less common side effects are vomiting, blurred vision, decreased sexual drive, headaches, drowsiness, decreased appetite, weakness and gastrointestinal discomfort (stomach pains). If someone notices a persistence in these side effects, contact a doctor.
Taking Viibryd may also increase suicidal thoughts.
Antidepressant May Aid in Treatment of Anxiety
MIAMI — The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist vilazodone (Viibryd, Forest Laboratories, Inc), currently approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults, is also effective in relieving anxiety symptoms in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
The finding, from a double-blind, randomized clinical trial, was presented here at the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology (ASCP) 2015 Annual Meeting.
“Some physicians assume that all antidepressants work for anxiety disorders, and that is not the case,” lead author David Sheehan, MD, professor emeritus, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, told Medscape Medical News.
“There is always a question when a new antidepressant comes on the market, does it work for generalized anxiety disorder? Vilazodone is an antidepressant that has some main mechanisms of action that look like a standard SSRI like Paxil , Prozac , and Zoloft , but in addition, it has an action that is like an old antianxiety drug called buspirone, or Buspar ,” Dr Sheehan said.
The multicenter study compared vilazodone 20-40 mg/day vs placebo in patients aged 18 to 70 years who had GAD.
The study was of 10 weeks’ duration and consisted of a 1-week screening period, 8 weeks of treatment, and a 1-week down-taper period. Therapy was initiated at the 20-mg dose; increases to 40 mg per day were permitted at the end of week 2 or week 4 for patients with inadequate response or who experienced difficulty with tolerance, but no dose increases were allowed after week 4.
Dr David Sheehan
The primary efficacy outcome was total score change from baseline to week 8 on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAMA); the secondary efficacy outcome was change in score on the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS).
The study randomly assigned 202 patients to receive vilazodone, and 202 to receive placebo.
At the end of 8 weeks, patients receiving vilazodone were worrying much less and had fewer anxiety symptoms than patients who received placebo, Dr Sheehan reported.
The least square mean difference (LSMD) between vilazodone and placebo with regard to the HAMA score from baseline to week 8 was statistically significant in favor of vilazodone (-2.20, 95% confidence interval , 3.72 to -0.68; P = .0048).
A similar result was seen in change on the SDS score (LSMD, -1.89; 95% CI, -3.52 to -0.26; P = .0236).
Statistically significant differences at week 8 for vilazodone vs placebo were also seen on each SDS domain score, the HAMA Psychic and Somatic Anxiety subscales, and the HAMA Anxious Mood and Tension items.
|SDS social life||.0012|
|SDS family life||.0036|
|HAMA psychic anxiety subscale||.0024|
|HAMA somatic anxiety subscale||.0250|
|HAMA anxious mood||.0038|
|HAMA anxious tension||.0042|
Most of the patients in the study (64% of patients receiving placebo and 79% of patients receiving vilazodone) reported side effects from treatment. Most of these were mild to moderate in severity.
Treatment-emergent adverse events that were reported in ≥5% of patients receiving vilazodone at twice the rate of those receiving placebo were nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, delayed ejaculation, and erectile dysfunction.
Mean changes in laboratory values and vital signs were low and were similar between the two groups. No patient experienced an increase in heart rate.
“Vilazodone is not FDA approved for anxiety, so it remains to be seen if it will get approval for that indication, but this study was a step for researchers to understand that the drug does at least have the hope of providing some relief from anxiety symptoms,” Dr Sheehan said.
Good News for Clinicians
“GAD is a very common problem that is associated with significant impairment. When it occurs in combination with depression, it is associated with worse outcomes and a lower response rate to treatment. So, whether it occurs by itself or in combination with other psychiatric disorders, GAD poses a significant mental health burden on many people,” Holly A. Swartz, MD, professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, in Pennsylvania, told Medscape Medical News.
Dr Holly Swartz
“We do not have enough well-tolerated, effective treatments available to manage GAD, so clinicians will be glad to know that another treatment shows evidence of efficacy,” Dr Swartz, who was not involved in the research, said.
“My only concern about this particular study is that although vilazodone was statistically better than placebo, the least square mean difference between the two treatments was not very large,” she added. “When seeking to alleviate suffering, we look for large differences between placebo and active treatment.”
This study was supported by funding from Forest Laboratories, LLC. Dr Sheehan reports multiple financial relationships with industry. Dr Swartz reports no relevant financial relationships.
American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology (ASCP) 2015 Annual Meeting. Abstract 3000210. Presented June 23, 2015.
Lexapro vs. Xanax: Differences, similarities, and which is better for you
Drug overview & main differences | Conditions treated | Efficacy | Insurance coverage and cost comparison | Side effects | Drug interactions | Warnings | FAQ
There are several medication options available if you have anxiety. Lexapro (escitalopram) and Xanax (alprazolam) are two different prescription drugs that can treat general anxiety as well as anxiety with depression. Lexapro is an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) drug while Xanax is a benzodiazepine. Both drugs work differently from each other, although they can be used for similar mental health conditions.
What are the main differences between Lexapro vs. Xanax?
Lexapro is an FDA-approved medication that is also available as a generic. The generic name for Lexapro is escitalopram. It works by blocking the reuptake of serotonin so that there is an increased level in the brain. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter responsible for mood and well being. Lexapro is usually taken once daily and may take a few weeks to reach maximum therapeutic potential.
Xanax is a brand name medication that is FDA approved to treat anxiety and panic disorders. The generic name for Xanax is alprazolam. It works by increasing the effects of GABA, an inhibitory molecule that can calm nerve activity in the brain. Xanax is usually taken 3 to 4 times per day for anxiety or panic attacks.
|Main differences between Lexapro vs. Xanax|
|Drug class||Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor||Benzodiazepine|
|Brand/generic status||Brand and generic available||Brand and generic available|
|What is the generic name?||Escitalopram||Alprazolam|
|What form(s) does the drug come in?||Oral tablet||Oral tablet
Extended-release oral tablet
|What is the standard dosage?||10 or 20 mg daily||0.25 to 0.5 mg three times per day|
|How long is the typical treatment?||Long term depending on your doctor’s instruction||Short term or long term depending on your doctor’s instruction|
|Who typically uses the medication?||Adults and children 12 years and older||Adults|
Conditions treated by Lexapro vs. Xanax
Lexapro and Xanax are two brand name medications that are commonly used for anxiety in adults. They are both indicated to treat anxiety alone or anxiety associated with depression.
Lexapro is also approved to treat major depression in adults and adolescents. Off-label uses for Lexapro include obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorders, and insomnia.
Xanax is also approved for panic disorder in adults. It may sometimes be used off-label for depression although it’s commonly used for adults with both anxiety and depression. It is also sometimes used off label for insomnia.
|Generalized anxiety disorder||Yes||Yes|
|Anxiety with depression||Yes||Yes|
|Major depressive disorder||Yes||Off-label|
Is Lexapro vs. Xanax more effective?
Lexapro and Xanax are both effective for treating anxiety. Although benzodiazepines are not commonly used first for anxiety, some studies show that they may be more effective than SSRIs. However, benzodiazepines are usually only recommended for short-term purposes.
Sometimes SSRI drugs and benzodiazepines are prescribed for anxiety and depression. Because SSRIs may take some time to feel its full effects, a benzodiazepine may help when starting therapy with an SSRI like Lexapro. In a literature review, it was found that benzodiazepines improved control of anxiety and helped with initial anxiety when starting an SSRI.
Other case reports have found that when taken together, benzodiazepines may boost the efficacy of SSRIs. In one report, a patient taking a benzodiazepine and SSRI together experienced mania, or an excitable mood often characterized by increased energy and irrational decision making.
Treatment with Lexapro and/or Xanax is personalized to an individual’s condition and symptoms. It’s important to consult a doctor or mental healthcare professional to explore the different treatment options available.
Coverage and cost comparison of Lexapro vs. Xanax
Lexapro can be purchased with a prescription and is covered by many Medicare and insurance plans. A 30-day supply of Lexapro tablets can cost around $400. Buying generic escitalopram with a SingleCare discount card can save you money and bring the cost down to $9-$37 depending on which pharmacy you use.
If you’re looking to purchase Xanax from your local pharmacy, most Medicare insurance plans will cover the generic version of it. The average retail price is $400 but you can purchase a bottle of 60 count of 0.5 mg alprazolam generic tablets for around $9-$21.
Common side effects of Lexapro vs. Xanax
Lexapro and Xanax can both affect the central nervous system (CNS). Both medications can cause common CNS side effects such as headache, dizziness, and insomnia. However, drowsiness or sleepiness is a more common side effect of taking Xanax.
Lexapro and Xanax can also cause other side effects such as dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Changes in weight such as weight loss or weight gain are also possible side effects with either drug. Lexapro is more likely to cause gastrointestinal side effects such as indigestion and gas (flatulence).
More serious adverse effects of Lexapro can include serotonin syndrome, a serious medical condition that requires immediate attention. Other adverse effects of Xanax can include memory problems or cognitive dysfunctions when used long term.
This may not be a complete list. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for other side effects.
Source: DailyMed (Lexapro), DailyMed (Xanax)
Drug interactions of Lexapro vs. Xanax
Lexapro and Xanax can interact with some of the same medications such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), opioids, anticonvulsants, triptans, and serotonergic drugs. Taking these drugs together may affect the level of drug in the body which can increase the risk of adverse effects.
SSRIs like Lexapro can also interact with NSAIDs and other blood thinners like warfarin. Taking these medications together may cause an increased risk of bleeding.
Xanax can also interact with birth control medications. Oral contraceptives may increase the side effects of benzodiazepines.
Because Lexapro and Xanax are processed by certain liver enzymes, they can interact with other drugs that affect these enzymes. Lexapro and Xanax can interact with CYP3A4 enzyme inhibitors and inducers. Consult a doctor or pharmacist to determine which drugs may interact with Lexapro or Xanax.
|Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)||Yes||Yes|
|Levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol
Drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol
This may not be a complete list of all possible drug interactions. Consult a doctor with all medications you may be taking.
Warnings of Lexapro vs. Xanax
Taking Lexapro can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior, especially in children and young adults. Adolescents taking Lexapro for depression may have an increased risk of suicidal ideation. Lexapro should not be used in children younger than 12 years old.
Xanax should not be used with opioids due to the increased risk of respiratory depression, coma, and even death in severe cases. These drugs should only be used together in limited doses and with close monitoring by a healthcare professional.
Treatment with Lexapro or Xanax should not be abruptly stopped. Both medications carry a risk of withdrawal symptoms if they are discontinued. Withdrawal symptoms can include irritability, nausea, vomiting, and headache. Stopping the use of Xanax may also lead to an increased risk of seizures. Instead, these medications should be tapered off slowly with the medical advice of a doctor.
Frequently asked questions about Lexapro vs. Xanax
What is Lexapro?
Lexapro is an SSRI medication that is prescribed for anxiety and depression. Lexapro is available as a generic drug. It may take 1 to 2 weeks to experience the maximum benefits of Lexapro.
What is Xanax?
Xanax is a benzodiazepine that is prescribed for anxiety and panic disorders. It is available as a generic drug, alprazolam. Xanax works quickly with effects experienced within 1 to 2 hours after taking it.
Are Lexapro vs. Xanax the same?
No. Lexapro and Xanax are not the same. Lexapro is an SSRI drug that is taken once daily for depression and anxiety. Xanax is a benzodiazepine that can be taken up to 3 or 4 times per day for anxiety and panic disorders.
Is Lexapro vs. Xanax better?
Xanax is more effective for short-term relief of anxiety. Lexapro is often prescribed for depression and can take a few weeks to fully work. Sometimes Lexapro and Xanax are taken together for anxiety with depression.
Can I use Lexapro vs. Xanax while pregnant?
It is not recommended to take Lexapro while pregnant. Taking Lexapro during the third trimester may cause persistent pulmonary hypertension in the newborn (PPHN). Xanax is not recommended while pregnant.
Can I use Lexapro vs. Xanax with alcohol?
No. Consuming alcohol while on Lexapro or Xanax can increase the risk of CNS side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, and headache. It is not recommended to drink alcohol while using SSRIs or benzodiazepines.
Does Lexapro reduce anxiety?
Yes. Lexapro can help treat anxiety. It is often prescribed for people with anxiety and depression.
How long does it take for Lexapro to work for anxiety?
As an SSRI, Lexapro may take a few weeks to reach maximum effectiveness for anxiety. Lexapro helps balance neurotransmitters over time to help reduce symptoms of anxiety.
Does Lexapro make you sleepy?
Lexapro can cause fatigue and somnolence in some people. These side effects are most common when first starting the drug. However, most side effects of Lexapro resolve on their own over time.
Can Lexapro help you get off Xanax?
Lexapro may help with anxiety while discontinuing Xanax. Consult a doctor for your best options when getting off Xanax.
Mixing Marijuana with Other Drugs: What You Need to Know
Disclaimer: AspenRidge North does NOT endorse the use of any mind-altering substances, including cannabis. We know that weed is an addictive drug that can cause significant problems in the lives of those who use the stuff.
Our advice to those who struggle with addiction is always to abstain from the use of habit-forming substances. However, because pot is readily available to residents of Colorado and other states, we believe it is our duty to provide relevant health considerations and educate you about marijuana drug interactions.
Weed – America’s Favorite Illegal Substance
Without question, the United States has seen a profound shift in drug policy in the past decade. Colorado was the first to legalize green in the U.S. in 2014. Since then, a number of other states have followed suit, making the stuff legal and accessible for recreational and medicinal use. It is safe to say that it’s only a matter of time before the federal government makes weed legal across the land. Nevertheless, pot is still illegal in most states. Users caught in possession of the drug can be ordered to pay hefty fines or spend time in jail. However, this has never stopped stoners from getting high. In fact, millions of Americans are daily users and rely on this substance to get through the day – even though they could get thrown in the slammer if they get caught with it. There is absolutely no doubt about it. Cannabis is – BY FAR – the most popular illegal drug.
If You’re Going To Get High, You Should Have All The Facts
Although most people would probably rank weed pretty low on the totem pole in terms of danger (you can’t technically overdose on it, so it’s not going to kill you), combining it with other substances can have some pretty negative consequences. In this article, we will talk about what happens when you mix weed with alcohol, prescription drugs, and illegal substances. But, first – let’s answer some of the most commonly asked questions about cannabis. (To be clear, we will be talking about naturally grown bud – NOT dabbing or synthetic marijuana, which are different monsters entirely.) Before we move forward, a friendly reminder: AspenRidge North DOES NOT endorse cannabis use in any way. Nevertheless, we know that – when it comes to drugs and alcohol – people are going to do use the stuff until they are ready to quit. If you think you have a problem with weed, we are here to help. If not, we want to make sure you have all the facts if you use pot regularly.
# 1 Can Marijuana Kill You?
If you use green on a regular basis, you may have been so buzzed that you thought you were going to die. The potency of the weed available for sale on both the black market and in legal dispensaries around the country will knock your socks off! But, you didn’t die, right? You lived to tell the tale and went on to smoke more weed. This experience of impending death while stoned is almost always caused by a weed-induced panic attack. When cannabis contains high levels of THC (the active ingredient in pot that gives you the buzz), it can cause a feeling of overwhelming anxiety, which can generate a feeling of extreme panic. In this frenzied state, many people will think, “Uh-oh. Can marijuana kill you?” The answer is no. While ingesting high levels of THC can cause a user to FEEL like they are going to die, the feeling quickly passes. Interestingly enough, having a stoned panic attack almost never deters people from sparking up a joint later that same day. By the time the high wears off, someone who loves pot will have forgotten about the incident completely, since it’s no secret that marijuana causes memory loss. So, it is true that ingesting high levels of THC can make you feel like death is imminent during a panic attack. This can be a terrifying experience, for sure. But, you should know that there has never been one single reported case of a lethal cannabis overdose. Weed cannot kill you. However, prolonged use can lead to some significant long-term health issues.
# 2 Is Marijuana a Depressant?
Many people who come to us for addiction treatment ask us, “Is weed a depressant?” The answer is….. kinda. The drug actually falls into three categories. Weed can be classified as a depressant, stimulant, or hallucinogen. This is because cannabis affects everybody in unique ways and various types of pot generate different kinds of effects. When some people get stoned, they feel relaxed and sleepy. In fact, many users say that when they smoke pot, the entire world seems to be going in slow motion. They experience a loss of motor skills, poor coordination, lowered blood pressure, and short-term memory loss. In this way, cannabis is a depressant for many users. However, you might be surprised to learn that for many, weed is a stimulant. When most people think of stimulants, they think of cocaine or methamphetamines. These drugs make the user feel super “speedy.” Pot doesn’t deliver this type of extreme mental or physical stimulation. Nevertheless, it can cause someone to experience an increase in heart rate, raised blood pressure, anxiety, paranoia, amped energy, and a jolt of motivation. Finally, weed can be hallucinogenic. While a user won’t experience extreme hallucinations like they would if they took LSD or DMT, they can have auditory, visual, or sensory hallucinations. (For example, someone who is high on weed might think their cat is telepathically communicating with them). So, there you have it. Clear as mud, right? Whether weed is a depressant, stimulant, or hallucinogen depends on your own body chemistry and the type of cannabis you are using.
# 3 Is Marijuana An Antidepressant?
Because pot is now legal for medicinal use in a number of states across the country, it is now being used for a variety of medical conditions. This includes depression. Some believe weed is an antidepressant and swear by the stuff as legitimate medicinal solution for chronic, situational, or bipolar depression. When answering the question, “Is marijuana an antidepressant?,” let’s get literal. Medically speaking, healthcare professionals define “antidepressant” as anything that is used to prevent or treat depression. Specifically, antidepressants are designed to correct chemical imbalances in the brain that can lead to negative changes in mood and behavior. Because weed has a reputation for making people laugh and causing a temporary boost of contentment, many turn to the drug as a way to beat the blues. However, just because someone considers marijuana an antidepressant doesn’t make it so. There is currently no research available that proves weed is an antidepressant with the power to prevent or treat depression. In fact, some research studies have shown that continued, prolonged use of pot can actually lead to depression. Furthermore, cannabis is not FDA approved for the prevention or treatment of depression. So, as far as we are concerned, weed is literally NOT an antidepressant. Yes, it may bring about a fleeting drug-induced sensation of happiness. But, you can be sure this feeling quickly fades. Here are five reasons you shouldn’t use marijuana as an antidepressant.
# 4 How Does Marijuana Affect The Brain?
In order to understand why pot might not mix so well with other drugs, it helps to first understand how cannabis affects your brain. A comprehension of how the drug works when you eat or smoke it will help you get an idea of what might happen when you combine it with other substances in your body. Essentially, when you use cannabis in any form, the drug activates tiny little spots on the cells in your brain. These are called “cannabinoid receptors.” Those little receptors are there to receive endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that our system produces naturally to help our body and brain communicate with each other. When someone uses weed, however, the drug generates “phytocannabinoids” (THC, CBD, and others) in their body that jump in and take the place of the naturally-produced cannabinoids. Some effects of the drug, like euphoria or decreased pain, can be attributed to the fact that these new cannabinoids alter the way the body and brain are communicating with each other. Combining green with other drugs, however, can alter this process, making things a bit more complicated. Marijuana drug interactions can cause phytocannabinoid production to increase at an unsafe rate, making it difficult for the user to function properly. (Sorry, we didn’t mean to go all nerd on you and give you a complicated biology lesson. To simplify, let’s just say that cannabis is a powerful substance that profoundly affects the way the brain functions!)
# 5 Can You Become Addicted to Weed?
Without a doubt, absolutely, no question about it – you CAN become addicted to marijuana. Most regular pot users will laugh at this assertion. They will say they can quit anytime, but they don’t want to. They will say they enjoy the way green makes them feel and that they have no intention of stopping. They will say weed is a natural substance that grows from the earth and that it completely harmless. Most people who use bud regularly refuse to even consider the possibility that they might be addicted. Here’s the thing. Heroin is also a natural substance that grows from the earth. Those who chase the dragon offer up the same explanations for their habit – they can quit anytime they want, they don’t want to quit, they like the way the drug makes them feel, etc. No one questions if heroin is addictive, yet users will insist they aren’t hooked! The same is true for regular cannabis users.
# 6 Can You Go Through Withdrawal When You Quit Smoking Weed?
If you are a chronic weed user, and you try to quit, you will be in for quite a surprise. You will experience very uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. These include extreme cravings for more pot, anxiety, depression, insomnia, a change in appetite, loss of focus and motivation, agitation, and irritability. When a substance produces withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop using it, the substance is considered addictive. You might be surprised to learn that many people go to rehab for cannabis addiction alone. FACT! Hundreds of thousands of regular weed users check themselves in for treatment in America every year because they can’t stop using the stuff on their own. Why? Because pot is addictive and it causes withdrawal. Period. Of course, marijuana withdrawal isn’t going to kill you. In most cases, you won’t need to go through a detox program to quit using the stuff, but you will be one unhappy camper for awhile once you stop using.
The Straight Scoop On Marijuana Drug Interactions
Okay. Now that we have answered some of the most commonly asked questions about weed, let’s talk about drug interactions. Many people want information about mixing marijuana with alcohol, prescription medications, and other substances. Most pot users completely downplay the powerful affect this drug has on the brain and body. In recent years especially, we have been taught that weed is relatively safe – especially when compared to alcohol, cocaine, heroin, crystal meth, and other addictive drugs. We’re not here to tell you about the evils of cannabis (although we have already told you it is addictive). We just want you to have all the facts if you are using the drug regularly – especially if you are taking other drugs. Like any psychoactive drug, pot can interact with other psychoactive chemicals in a way that produces less than desirable results. As weed becomes increasingly more accessible, it is helpful to know about marijuana drug interactions. That way, if you or someone you care about chooses to partake of this substance, you’ll be able to do so in the safest and most responsible manner possible.
Mixing Marijuana and Depressants – Not a Great Idea
Many people mix marijuana with depressant drugs like alcohol, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines (like Xanax) because they like the way it makes them feel. This can be dangerous. Here is a quick study in pharmacology. Depressants are drugs that inhibit central nervous system (CNS) functioning and cause breathing and blood pressure to slow down. Many depressants also increase the production of the neurotransmitter known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA carries messages between cells. Increased GABA activity reduces brain function. This leads to drowsiness, increased relaxation, and deep sleep. Mixing marijuana with other depressants can cause the heart rate to decrease to a very low rate. It can also inhibit the user’s basic motor skills, making it difficult for them to think clearly, speak, or react appropriately to things around them. More importantly, mixing weed with depressants can be fatal or cause serious health complications. This may sound extreme, but many people who have gone to the emergency room because they have stopped breathing tested positive for marijuana and depressants. This is not a coincidence.
Drinking Too Much Alcohol And Using Too Much Weed Can Lead To A Major Buzzkill
Let’s talk about mixing marijuana and alcohol for a minute. These are the two most commonly used drugs in America. (Yes, alcohol IS a drug!) Getting “cross faded” is very common among pot users. People say they like the buzz caused by the effects of booze and bud. But, WATCH OUT! Alcohol + Weed = Risky Business. For starters, the combination of weed and alcohol is known to increase the effects of each drug. Users who mix the two become drunk and stoned much quicker and with greater intensity. For many who combine these two substances, the party is over before it begins. Exaggerated effects of THC can cause those terrifying weed-induced panic attacks we talked about earlier. It can also cause extreme paranoia, frightening hallucinations, disorienting short-term memory loss, and a complete disconnection from reality. NOT FUN. Exaggerated effects of alcohol can lead to blurred vision, complete loss of motor skills, slurred speech, nausea, vomiting, and other unpleasant consequences. Put these two together – and it’s a recipe for disaster. If your goal is to get high and drunk at the same time by mixing alcohol and marijuana, just know going in that you might be in over your head.
Marijuana and Alcohol—Is it a Dangerous Combination? Aside from the fact that mixing weed and alcohol might not deliver the fun time you are looking for, you need to know that combining these two drugs can be deadly. In no uncertain terms, drinking alcohol and using bud can quickly take you from turnt up to face down in the toilet to riding in the back of an ambulance. It’s no secret that consuming too much alcohol too fast can cause you to get nauseous and throw up. Vomiting is an indicator of alcohol poisoning. It is the body’s way of getting rid of excess alcohol in an attempt to reorient itself to a place of wellness. It is very unpleasant, but it is actually a good thing. Excessive drinking becomes problematic when done in combination with cannabis because weed prevents you from vomiting. While you might become nauseous, you may not be able to throw up. Usually, when someone drinks too much, they throw up, which helps flush all the alcohol out of the system. However; pot can prevent this from happening. As a result, drinking alcohol and using cannabis at the same time leads to an increased risk of alcohol poisoning – which almost guarantees a hospital visit. At least 2,200 people die every year from alcohol poisoning. Many of them were drunk AND stoned. Also, It should go without saying that no one should ever drive or operate heavy machinery while they are under the influence of green and alcohol. It is particularly important for those who use a combination of marijuana and alcohol to stay far away from the driver’s seat of a car. Loss of motor skills, slowed reaction time, and altered perception can lead to a serious car accident.
If You Combine Benzos and Weed, You’re Putting Your Life on the Line
Millions of Americans are prescribed benzodiazepines like Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin for anxiety, insomnia and other health conditions. By themselves, these anti-anxiety medications are dangerous. They are not only highly addictive, they deliver a powerful sedative effect that can knock you out for days. If you combine benzos and weed, you are looking for trouble. Remember, we told you that Xanax and other benzos are depressants. You should never mix depressants and cannabis. They can significantly reduce heart rate and blood pressure and lead to coma or death. Another thing you should know about mixing marijuana and benzos is that you are likely to wake up in the morning (if you are lucky enough to make it home safe) with absolutely no recollection of how you got there. Benzodiazepines are notorious for affecting memory and causing blackouts. Bud is also associated with short-term memory loss. When you mix these two substances, you are likely to walk around in a mental fog that will prevent your brain from creating new memories. This increases the likelihood that you will put yourself in dangerous situations that could result in you getting robbed, assaulted, or something much worse.
Mixing Marijuana And Suboxone – Don’t Do It
Another combination should be avoided is cannabis and buprenorphine. This synthetic compound, which can be found in many opioid replacement therapy drugs like Suboxone and Subutex, has a sedating effect much like weed. Buprenorphine is often prescribed to those who are dependent on opioid drugs like heroin, Oxycodone, or Fentanyl. It helps fight off cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, it is likely that someone who is prescribed the drug would not want to mix it with an addictive substance like cannabis in the first place. However, those who are considering using bud while on Suboxone, Subutex or another drug containing buprenorphine should seriously consider the safety risks. The problems with mixing marijuana and buprenorphine stem from the fact that the opioid replacement drug has strong depressant effects. Upon taking a prescribed dose of drugs like Suboxone, the user’s central nervous system will begin to slow down. Because marijuana can also act like a depressant, using the two drugs in combination can lead to respiratory depression and death. Also, it is important to note that combining marijuana and Suboxone or other opioid replacement therapies can render buprenorphine ineffective. This means that cravings for opioid and withdrawal symptoms will eventually kick in, which can lead to a relapse.
Can You Mix Marijuana And Antidepressants?
Most drugs don’t mix with antidepressants. Pot is no exception. Antidepressants are prescribed to treat psychiatric conditions like anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental disorders. Many people use green while taking their antidepressants to self-medicate in an attempt to find relief from their mental health issues. This is not the solution. In fact, mixing marijuana and antidepressants can actually make things much worse. For example, cannabis causes many people to experience anxiety. Those who have Generalized Anxiety Disorder or other similar conditions can actually feel more anxiety when they use pot. Medications like Prozac, Lexapro, and Zoloft are commonly prescribed to treat anxiety. Combining these antidepressants with marijuana can counteract the meds and enhance anxious thoughts and feelings. Some studies have shown that chronic cannabis use can lead to depression. This is ironic because many people think getting high makes their condition better. The problem is, the drug wears off and feelings of despair return. Then, the user uses more pot to feel better. It can become a vicious cycle. Wellbutrin, Celexa, and Paxil are often prescribed for the treatment of depression. Mixing weed and these antidepressants prevents the medications from working properly. Some Doctors Won’t Prescribe Antidepressants to Marijuana Users It is important to mention that taking antidepressants and weed together makes it almost impossible for your doctor to help you get better. When you are under the care of a psychiatrist, they monitor your progress and determine if the medication you have been prescribed is working. If you are using marijuana and antidepressants at the same time, there is no way to figure out which substance is causing what specific effect. Medication adjustments and changes are basically out of the question because they are completely counterproductive. Many doctors won’t even treat you if you are mixing these two substances.
Different Types of Antidepressants and Marijuana Drug Interactions
There are three different types of antidepressants that may interact with cannabis in negative ways – SSRIs, SNRIs, and MAOIs. Mixing different antidepressants with weed can produce varied side effects and problems. Let’s talk about these. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, also known as SSRIs, are the most commonly prescribed type of antidepressant. Drugs like Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac, Wellbutrin and Paxil are examples. These help to treat depression other mental health conditions by increasing the amount of serotonin released in the body. Serotonin is a natural feel-good neurotransmitter. It promotes feelings of wellness and contentment. Studies have shown that weed also helps release serotonin in the brain. For this reason, mixing marijuana and Prozac, combining weed and Wellbutrin, or doing pot with other antidepressants can have dire consequences. Specifically, too much serotonin can lead to Serotonin Syndrome. This occurs when the brain can’t handle the quantity of the chemical it’s been tasked to process. People who have Serotonin Syndrome will experience a variety of symptoms that range from mild to severe. These include agitation, restlessness, mental confusion, rapid heartrate, high blood pressure, sweats, vomiting, and diarrhea. Also, be warned: using marijuana and SSRIs can lead to life-threatening conditions like high fever, seizures, shock, irregular heartbeat, and unconsciousness. On another note, many people take the antidepressant Wellbutrin to help fight cravings for harmful substances. It is sometimes prescribed to people who are quitting smoking or in recovery from heroin addiction. Mixing marijuana and Wellbutrin, like other SSRIs, is not a good idea for the reasons we have explained. Effexor is a Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (SNRI). Other SNRIs include Cymbalta and Pristiq. These antidepressants work in very much the same way that SSRIs do. People who are prescribed SNRIs should not mix them with cannabis. THC and CBD (two of the major compounds in pot) and SNRIs can have an effect on the way serotonin is regulated in the brain. The combination of them can produce unpredictable results. Those who are prescribed to an SNRI and throw cannabis into the mix might find themselves feeling extremely disoriented. They are also subject to developing Serotonin Syndrome. MAOIs: Although Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) like Nardil are not prescribed very much these days (most patients who would have been prescribed them receive SSRIs or SNRIs instead), those who do take these drugs shouldn’t smoke pot. MAOIs interact with marijuana in a way that heightens the sedative qualities of cannabis to an unsafe level.
Be Aware of Cannabis Drug Interactions and Stay Safe
Truth be told, we think it’s a good idea to stay away from weed altogether. The stuff is addictive and it can cause some significant health problems. If you want to be healthy and avoid many of the problems that can come from getting high, your best bet is to find other pleasurable activities to engage in. But, like we have said – you are going to use the stuff until you are ready to quit. We respect that. Nevertheless, as cannabis becomes more commonly used in Colorado and elsewhere, we can all benefit from increased awareness of marijuana drug interactions. The effects of weed do not pose the kind of immediate health threats that other drugs do. However, when combined with incompatible substances, pot can be quite dangerous. Those who do choose to use weed should carefully take inventory of what else they put into their bodies. If you’re going to get high, please be safe. Think twice about mixing marijuana with alcohol and other drugs.