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Effexor + Marijuana (Page 1)

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I am on Effexor Xr 37.5 mg which i just recently started taking. I occasionally smoke marijuana, usually at parties when i dont want to drink. The first time i tried to smoke on this drug everything was fine, until i had a cigarette. By my second puff off the cig, my hands became very sweaty, my heartrate accelerated and i got something like an electrical shock in my brain and all through the nerves in my body (lasting approx. 5-10 seconds). I soon calmed down and in about ten minutes i was fine. I just figured I shouldn't be high on the drug and have a cigarette at the same time.

Then the second time i got high on this drug, the same thing happened, only milder this time. The only difference was that it was without the cigarette.

I have narrowed this down to two possibilities.
1. Effexor is an SNRI, inhibiting the uptake of serotonin and norepinephrine. I have read elswhere that properties of the norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor can also inhibit the uptake of dopamine to a lesser degree. THC, the main active chemical in marijuana, also causes a release of Dopamine, as does nicotine. In this first scenario i thought that perhaps i had a surge of dopamine that sent my nervous system into shock.

2. Something my sister brought up. Possibly CO2 levels in my blood just raised too high and my brain, thinking it was starving for oxygen, sent me into a panic mode until the CO2 levels fell.

I have read reports of people smoking marijuana and being fine with Effexor on doses way higher than mine. I have also come across two accounts of this combination inducing a seizure.

Just wondering what anyone who has knowledge on this has to think.
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First Helper JadeXs
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replied November 17th, 2007
Serotonin Syndrome
It sounds like serotonin syndrome. I read about it on the info sheet with my Effexor prescription. Here is a wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serotonin_syn drome
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replied December 30th, 2007
Or perhaps you should have told your doc the truth when they asked you if you drink or do any drugs? 37.5mg is a VERY low dose. The lowest. You will probably have to increase that dose a few times, so if you're having problems now, I'm sure you can expect worse if you keep smoking weed while taking the meds. They are barely even in your system yet and you are having problems. And it states right on the bottle not to consume alcohol while on this medication. I've been on my fair share of meds and trust me, they aren't kidding when they say not to mix alcohol with the meds. Downer + Downer = Major Downer

I'd knock off the substances if you expect to feel any better, assuming you are on the Effexor for depression. It won't help unless you help yourself.
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replied March 28th, 2009
Agreed, but any advice?
Any advice for someone who is smoking marijuana, cigarettes, drinking and on Effexor? He throws up just about every day in the morning, and sleeps until late in the afternoon. But doesn't think there is anything wrong. He was taking sleeping pills, and may still be. Also, we have suggested going to a physciatrist, but he says there is no need. He has gone to a MD at least once to be prescribed effexor, and once more to get it re-prescribed. In the beginning the effexor was working well for him, now he is sick all the time. He lives five hours from any family and doesnt communicate with any of us regularly at all, he is in college (dropped all classes this semester supposed to be his last semester) and doesnt leave his room much. Any advice?
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replied May 1st, 2009
37.5mg IS a very low dose
But some people are very sensitive. I was on Effexor a few years ago, and I was quite comfortable on a very low dose. When my Doctor increased my dosage to 100mg, I started having bad side effects. It felt like I was on speed, racing heart, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep. (and I was already underweight) That's when I weened myself off the meds. The side effects felt worse than the depression. I was able to get past the depression with lots of B vitamins & some amino acids.
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replied May 17th, 2009
The electric shocks you describe are not seretonin syndrome (which is a severe and often fatal reaction) but the effect of neurotransmitters in the brain that are influenced by Venlafaxine (Effexor). It is extremely important not to mix alcohol or drugs with Venlafaxine. This is not because they interreact to cause fatal or dangerous conditions but because they alter the way the medicine is metabolised.

If you have not been on Venlafaxine very long you are probably suffering the electric shocks as side effects, however they are more common during withdrawal. Venlafaxine has a very short half life and withdrawal symptoms can start within 12 hours of a missed tablet. Could you have missed a dose?

The dopamine levels are unlikely to be what is causing this as dopamine causes you to feel relaxed and happy, not sweaty and racey. The cannabis is making you sweaty and panicky, the Venlafaxine is causing the shocks through your central nervous system.

You can drink on Venlafaxine eventually. But don't while you're getting used to the medication. It'll just make you feel ill. Don't take any drugs whatsoever while you're on antidepressants or while you are suffering from depression/anxiety. You will make your condition ten times worse. Both alcohol and drugs have a severe effect on mental illness and will just defy the point of you being treated at all. Drink moderately after a few months of being on Venlafaxine (but not before then) and quit drugs altogether.

What you have experienced is not dangerous but you should take it as a warning as to just how strong the medication is and how it effects your brain and central nervous system. Messing with Venlafaxine will make you feel very ill, much worse than other antidepressants.

The moral of the story? Don't screw with your central nervous system or your central nervous system will screw with you Smile

Good luck.
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replied September 14th, 2009
Effexor + Marijuana Is a Bad Idea!! It causes Seizures!! YOU ARE HAVING SEIZURES!!
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replied January 24th, 2010
Anyone who generalizes "drugs" is not worth listening to. It seems no one here actually knows how marijuana and effexor influence eachother. I have been smoking marijuana just to deal with the side effects and to help me eat and would love to know more myself.
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replied January 25th, 2010
Tridge, I was doing the same thing. I started having major Problems.. I started doing research. I read hours and hours on the combination. It does cause seizures. Effexor is a derivative of methamphetamine's, and of course Marijuana is a downer. when mixing the two it causes many problems including but not limited to, Seizures, stroke and heart attack. Since finding out all this information I have stopped taking both type of Drugs. I have also found that happiness comes from inside and if you can figure out the reasons for your sadness. You can change how you feel without drugs in any form. Figure out what you are running from. Then you can fix the problem. It has taken me 20 years to find and resolve some issues, but in the end it is worth it. Remember no matter where you go, no matter where you try to hide, you are always there. Hugs from someone who cares!! Jade
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Users who thank JadeXs for this post: Luwigy 

replied August 9th, 2014
I have been on Effexor for 16 years (varied doses but 150mg per day for the past 5 years). I also have smoked marijuana almost every night (with some brief periods off) for the past 18 or so years. I have never had a seizure. Nor anything like it.

I don't drink, I don't take other recreational drugs. I take 100mg Levoxyl for my thyroid and 10mg Crestor every day.

I do get my liver enzymes checked annually, as well as an EKG and a complete blood work-up and have no signs of heart irregularities or complications.

If anything, the Effexor has minimized the effects marijuana has on me. I never get really 'high', it just kind of takes the edge off. Oh, I should mention I always smoke Indica, not Sativa.

Just one person's experience.
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replied January 25th, 2010
Actually Jade technically marijuana is not a "downer" if by downer you mean depressant, nor would it have the same cumulative effects with effexor as a depressant. Is your reference of siezures from someone's personal experience? My guess would be that if marijuana in any way caused a siezure it was psychosomatic, regardless of what else might have been contribuiting, or just unrelated. Can you reference anything that shows the effects of marijuana and effexor causing siezures? Not to be a hard ass but I really would like to not confuse people about this, and my understanding is that there is no chemical in marijuana that has been proven to have a conflict with any other drug on the planet. I might be wrong, but I would like to know why.
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replied January 25th, 2010
I will find the information that I found and post the link here. It has been a few years since then so give me a bit.. by Downer I ment Central Nervous System depressant, mixing a CNS depressant with a CNS activator, you are always at risk for Heart and Brain issues.. Smile
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replied May 6th, 2010
Drug interaction or side-effect? What a shocker!
I''m on effexor(75), cymbalta (60mg,also an SNRI but stronger in smaller dosages, 60 is max)and also on tegretol, which is a bi-polar med and also an anti-epilleptic drug. Those shocks I get randomly and not at all related to marijuana (havent had smoked pot in year) and they are not seizures because I know how seizures feel like, seizures are spasms. I get those too, ther different.
Cigarettes give me a gentler high, and I can still tolerate moderate alcohol consumption very well (and sober up at the speed of lightning, without hangover!)
I''m not promoting the usage of anything, just saying "relax, its all normal" although ever since being prescibed the meds I''ve been biking to campus, quit smoking (all kinds), drinking and eating a mostly (I love meat) vegetarian diet.
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replied May 20th, 2010
JadeXS dissapearing kinda shows that you shouldn't listen to her 'IT CAUSES SEIZURES' thing.

and i dunno, did you say that amphetamines and weed combined in general cause seizures? Because that's retarded. I don't take pills anymore but when i used to, i used to smoke weed while on them and it made it more awesome, i don't remember seizuring about.

anyway i'd like some concrete info on this too, i just quit SSRI's and i am starting effexor, and i smoke weed most days of the week. with the other drug it kinda clouded my ability to tell what the drug was doing, but overall eased the side effects (made it easier to eat and sleep, most notably).

today i had the first effexor (150 gram capsule) and not long after vomitted everywhere. probably best i avoid booze and weed for a little while, but i'd be interested in knowing if there actaully is any conflict. I'm also under the impression that THC is incapable of conflicting with anything in a major way (definitely not seizures), but i'd rather not make things harder. It's kinda like when you're really drunk and you have a cone, and its awful. That's what i'm thinking is worst-case-scenario with weed/alcohol on these things, but i'd like to know if its less / more risky than i'm assuming
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replied January 15th, 2012
weed & effexor
bro im on effexor 150mg once a day, and ive been smoking weed sense I was 14. All I gotta say is that when I smoke weed now while on effexor I feel so weird. I dont feel like seeing or talking to anyone, it makes me feel terrible. I end up turning my phone of for weeks. Its a bad thing to do in my case. Im struggling to quit smoking pot. but I know I will do it.

heres an example, Im hanging out with a girl and everything is cool, our vibes are real good. then we smoke some weed and I start to trip out in my head. my voice changes, I sound all lazy and I doubt myself about everything. I really hope I could quit weed for good. Im sure I can.
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replied January 15th, 2012
weed & effexor
bro im on effexor 150mg once a day, and ive been smoking weed sense I was 14. All I gotta say is that when I smoke weed now while on effexor I feel so weird. I dont feel like seeing or talking to anyone, it makes me feel like sht. I end up turning my phone of for weeks. Its a bad thing to do in my case. Im struggling to quit smoking pot. but I know I will do it.

heres an example, Im hanging out with a girl and everything is cool, our vibes are real good. then we smoke some weed and I start to trip out in my head. my voice changes, I sound all lazy and I doubt myself about everything. I really hope I could quit weed for good. Im sure I can.
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replied January 15th, 2012
and the day after I smoke that pot I feel out of energy I feel super depressed, I start to think bad things about myself, and I turn my phone off so I wont talk to anybody, because I feel so out of place.
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replied June 2nd, 2010
Weed okay, Booze no way.
SNRI's (Effexor) like most drugs is metabolised by the liver. If you drink booze than the drug wont work too well because the liver needs to filter the alcohol, and the booze will stay in your system longer, and I dont think a double negative in this case makes a positive. Alcohol, no matter what some people say, is also a depressant, so the two absolutely dont mix.
On the other hand I've had weed while on Effexor. The only thing that was different from before the Effexor is that it took the weed a lot longer to be felt than before and when it does hit you it's just a little stronger, but otherwise I did not consider it much of a health hazard to have the two together, unlike mixing it with booze. Enjoy.
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replied June 12th, 2010
Don't mix pot and effexor unless your ready for a trip
I've been taking SNRI's regularly for about 5 years now. When I first started I had gone to rehab due to severe depression and anxiety related to my substance abuse. I smoked weed and drank everyday. Sometimes I did some cocaine or ecstacy when I had the money and they were around. Of course the rehab I went to steered me towards the 12 steps of AA and NA recovery. I really bought into the 12 step recovery method and stayed clean for a year and 7 months. All the while I was taking 75mg of Effexor, eventually I figured I wasn't an "addict" or "alcoholic" and went back to smoking weed, thinking my clean time meant I was just depressed and taking the Effexor would keep me from getting back into my depths of depression. Eventually I was smoking everyday, and felt like I had to have herb at work and always found a reason to smoke. Of course being around people I knew that did harder drugs, I began to do cocaine, ecstacy, mushrooms, and acid a few times, all the while still taking my Effexor. The harder drugs weren't a daily thing, but I had to have my herb. Did I mention I was in a reggae band, so I bought into the idea that Herb is a spiritual thing. Well I ended up stopping the Effexor, but staying on the daily pot smoking form of therapy, and after about 5 months, I reached a point of depression and anxiety like I have never imagined. Thoughts of suicide were daily. I got married and had a kid during my first year and 7 months of sobriety, and I thought those two events would keep me focused, and I was dead wrong. My psychomotor skills have deteriorated and I have a very hard time doing anything different from what I have all ready experienced in life. I still play music, and try to go to my job. I've come pretty honest with my boss, because he could tell something was off with me, I told him it was depression first, then let him know the whole story after I used all of my sick and vacation time because everyday I wake up and think that my world isn't worth living in because I can't successfully smoke weed or handle alcohol. I got back on effexor and couldnt really tell if it was helping me or not, because my mental baseline is so f-ing skewed now. So my doc switched me to Cymbalta which is in the same family of drugs, and I still don't feel anywhere close to functional. I've gotten to the point now that my worst frame of mind is that the rest of my life is going to be like a bad acid trip, and my best frame of mind is that the only place I'm ever going to feel accepted in in a 12 step meeting. My hope is to one day become a dedicated practitioner of yoga and meditation so I can live completely chemically free. So anyway long story short, if you mess with your Central Nervous System. Live naturally, eat organic, believe in a power greater than yourself, and focus on the things you have to be grateful for. If I can follow my own advice I might have a chance, that is as long as I still have some glimpse of a grip on reality.
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Users who thank mccorklevt for this post: srubicz 

replied January 15th, 2012
hey bro i feel the same way, and I have to say that its the weed bro. quit the weed and stick to your meds. Im on the same boat. IM QUITTING WEED FOR GOOD NOW !
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replied December 4th, 2010
effexor + marijuana
hey,
i dont know if anyone is still keeping tabs on this thread, but i'm on 225 mg of effexor, and the last two times i've smoked weed i'd have paranoid auditory hallucinations, blackouts, convulsions (not real seizures, but i couldn't control my body movements, and i would thrash around on the floor), i stopped breathing a couple times, laughed maniacally, cried, foamed at the mouth, and could not walk or talk among other things.
i'm not saying that everyone who is on venlafaxine will react this way to weed, because i don't know that for sure. i had smoked pot tonnes of times before, while on effexor and had no bad reactions like the past two times. i just think that people need to be cautious and aware that antidepressants do alter the natural way in which your brain processes neurotransmitters. i also think that if you're on antidepressants for a reason, it's probably not the best idea to be throwing drugs of any kind or alcohol into the mix unless you're ready to deal with any of the consequences. speaking from my personal experience, your health (physically and mentally)and safety is a lot more important than getting stoned or having a good time.
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replied December 12th, 2010
effexor and smoking pot
i drank 6 beers and smoked 2 joints of pot for 20 years. i also suffered from depression.i gave up the beer and pot smoking for 3 months. then i started toking occasionally once again. My doctor, a well know addictionist prescribed me effexor 75mg. within 1 month of taking effoxor i was smoking an ounce of hydro weekly. i had also become a shopaholic. after 14 months on effexor i weened myself off (i did it slowly over a 3 month period). funny thing was that after being off the effexor for only 2 weeks the pot smoking had been reduced to 2 joints daily and the compulsive shopping had ended (i spent $40k in 14 months). Now i havent drank in 5 years, taken effexor (or any other medication) in 3 years nor smoked a joint in two years. My advice, dont party while on an SSRI.
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replied January 29th, 2011
effexor and marijuana
I had two seperate bad reactions while taking effexor and smoking pot. The first reaction was after smoking a joint, I basically fainted and my freind had a hard time getting me back. I felt awful for a couple of hours. The next time I smoked a joint about two weeks later, I could not breathe... it was awful.. I was gasping for breath... my friend called for an ambulance... I was able to get it under control and canceled the ambulance but that was scary... what do you think I stopped doing? Why the effexor of course. but hey, that is just me... you might want to stay on the effexor and stay off the pot.
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replied February 11th, 2011
Herb and Effexor
Here's my situation, I want to get off this Effexor. I have been on it for 3 yrs now and up to 225 mg. This is the hardest thing I have ever done. I have been weening off for almost 3 wks now and I get the "brain zaps" and vertigo here and there, I smoke herb to help me with the nausea and the zaps, a couple of bowls throughout the day and I have to admit it is working and next week Ill be down to one 75 mg for a month. Trust me when I tell you, DO NOT miss a dose. It is the worst feeling ever. I cannot wait to get off this crap. Any one in the same boat with me? I wish you all the best
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Users who thank 420foreffexor for this post: huskergal 

replied August 9th, 2011
ARGHHH!! Is that a medical term?
wow, so many different opinions, i5ts really hard to know what to listen to. I've stumbled across this site as my Doc suspects I have Serotonin syndrome. I was put on Cymbalta 3 months ago which I thought was going really well except for a few minor side effects. 8 months before going on the anit-depressiants I started getting periodical limb movement disorder which only ocurred during sleep. I'm not sure if its because of the anti-depressiants or if its just increased with time but my symptoms have gotten a hell of a lot worse. Now I have body twitches all over and jerks, restless leg sydrome and my knees, ankles and joints are so painful from the constant movements, even while awake. I was put on 'madopar' but one doc and instantly all of my symptoms trippled. I also smoke marijuana and have done so for ten years daily even while on other anti-depressiants with no visual side effects. Am also wondering if too much serotonin is being released because of the mixture. As I cant drive anymore from the fatigue of it all the doc took me straight off cymbalta nd madopar 4 days ago which so far hasnt stopped symptoms just added some more from the sudden stopping of anti-depressiants. Feeling awesome right now, my eyes are wobbley, (not enough that i cant type) and I'm dizzy. Waiting a few more days to see if twitches stop then I shall know if its serotonin sydrome. Booked into nuerologist and sleep clinic. I thought I might be getting MS but Doc siad thats my catastrophic way of thinking due to my depression and anxiety. Is giving me anxiety meds which he thinks will in turn stop the depression because most of my depression comes from my anxiety about going to work. Sorry this hasnt helped anyone at all just needed to get it all out of my head. Also am down to 1 cone a day but its hard when my friends and partner all have marijuana addictions too. Have quit smoking cigs 2 months ago which I'm craving like crazy! and stopped drinking daily. Dont have a clue whats going on with my body but its definetly brain related.
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replied October 17th, 2011
If you have serotonin syndrome you probably should not smoke pot. It's because of the L-Dopamine interation that somehow effects SS. It will help your restless legs but it will spike your SS symptoms after abbout an hour or sooner and it will prolong your recovery. I'm more concerned about what anxiety meds you are on. If you are on Lorazepam that helps SS but most others will probably make it worse. Serotonin Syndrome is not something to play around with. I had it that's why I know about weed and SS. The weed might aggravate it but other meds can put you 6 feet under. Don't put anything in your body without researching it yourself and running it by a good pharmacist.
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