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Re: Zoloft & Marijuana Interactions?

Posted by JD on May 23, 1999, at 10:59:49

In reply to Zoloft & Marijuana Interactions?, posted by parent on May 23, 1999, at 5:21:56

Dear "parents",

While you have every right to be concerned
about your son's marijuana use, I wouldn't
get overly worried about the drug interaction
aspect: except for a few anecdotal reports
of problems with simultaneous use of SSRIs
like Zoloft, the medical literature hasn't
sounded too many alarms over what I'm sure is
a fairly popular combination among young
people. (I do, however, see one report of
Prozac and marijuana causing a manic response
in a patient, if you feel like going the fear
route in a tete-a-tete! It's never wise to
mix such medications in any event, even if
many people have no big problems.)

The deeper issue may be whether people who
are depressed tend to "self-medicate" with
marijuana: one recent study showed that Prozac actually
helped to decrease its use, which alas
doesn't seem to be the case with your son on
Zoloft, which is a largely similar medicine.
From my point of view, the best solution may
be to address the marijuana essentially
as it's own issue, insofar as it relates to
your son's physical and emotional well-being
over the last few months. See some of the
abstracts I've included below...

Good luck to you all,

Depression 1996;4(2):77-80

Do patients use marijuana as an antidepressant?

Gruber AJ, Pope HG Jr, Brown ME

Biological Psychiatry Laboratory, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts 02178, USA.

Several lines of evidence suggest that cannabis may have antidepressant effects. However, methodologic limitations in available
studies make the results difficult to interpret. We review this literature and present five cases in which the evidence seems
particularly clear that marijuana produced a direct antidepressant effect. If true, these observations argue that many patients
may use marijuana to "self-treat" depressive symptoms.


J Clin Psychiatry 1991 Jun;52(6):280-1

A case of mania as a result of fluoxetine-marijuana interaction.

Stoll AL, Cole JO, Lukas SE

Publication Types:

Letter (no abstract)


Fluoxetine versus placebo for the marijuana use of depressed alcoholics.

Cornelius JR, Salloum IM, Haskett RF, Ehler JG, Jarrett PJ, Thase ME, Perel JM

Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA 15213, USA.

[Medline record in process]

The aim of this analysis was to evaluate the efficacy of the SSRI antidepressant fluoxetine versus placebo for the marijuana use
of depressed alcoholics. There are no previous reports involving and SSRI antidepressant for marijuana abuse. This analysis
involved a subsample of 22 depressed alcoholic marijuana users out of a total of 51 depressed alcoholics. The entire sample
was involved in a 12-week double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the efficacy of fluoxetine versus placebo in
depressed alcoholics. During the course of the trial, the cumulative number of marijuana cigarettes used was almost 20 times as
high in the placebo group as in the fluoxetine group. Also, the number of days of marijuana use during the study was five times
higher in the placebo group than in the fluoxetine group. These data suggest efficacy for fluoxetine in decreasing marijuana use
of depressed alcoholics.

> From a concerned parent: Just found out
> From concerned parents: Just found out that
> 16-yr-old who has been successfully treated
> for depression (diagnosed 6 months ago) has
> been smoking marijuana for past two months.
> Concerned about possible co-morbid
> addiction condition, interaction of
> marijuana with zoloft (100 mg), exacerbation
> of depression and anxiety, etc. Gifted and
> talented kid who needs real info. not
> propaganda to convince him of dangers.




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