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Should You Use Marijuana If You Use Lamictal?

lamictal tablets and weed

Lamictal and cannabis may seem a match made in heaven for individuals with epilepsy or other seizure-causing conditions. Both Lamictal and strains with higher levels of CBD show promising ability to soothe spasmodic movements, ease inflammation, and balance neurochemicals that contribute to seizures.

However, there are moderate drug-drug interactions between Lamictal and cannabis, so one should proceed with caution when mixing the two.

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What Is Lamictal?

Lamictal is a branded version of lamotrigine, an anti-epileptic prescription medication used to prevent and control seizures. Other branded names for the drug include Lamictal XR, Lamictal CD, Lamictal ODT, and Subvenite.

Lamictal is a known anticonvulsant drug, but it also is prescribed “off-label” — or not approved by the FDA — to help prevent the extreme mood swings associated with bipolar disorder. The drug is thought to work by addressing the imbalance of particular neurotransmitters responsible for seizures and other symptoms of epilepsy.

Lamictal is currently not approved for use in children younger than two. It can also cause a life-threatening rash if too much is used in the first few weeks of a new prescription, so it’s essential to consult your physician closely.

Uses and How It Works

Experts don’t precisely know how Lamictal works, but it decreases overactive nerve pathways and signaling in the brain. This slowing of nerve activity makes it helpful in treating a variety of seizure activities, including those associated with epilepsy, Lennox-Gastuat syndrome, and primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures.

It takes several weeks for its full effects to kick in and can take even longer for some individuals. Doses start extremely low to ensure patients can tolerate Lamictal’s side effects and are slowly raised every one to two weeks until a target dose is reached.

Potential Benefits and Risks of Mixing Cannabis and Lamictal

Potential Benefits

The potential benefits of mixing cannabis and Lamictal depend on the symptom for which you’re seeking to combine them. CBD is known to have anti-seizure properties, and a few CBD-based medications on the market specifically deal with epilepsy. If you’re looking to soothe seizure symptoms, high-CBD strains may complement the effects of Lamictal.

However, CBD is also known to interact with several medications, prolonging their lifespan in the body and complicating their potential adverse effects. It’s crucial to discuss how CBD might interact with your use of Lamictal with your doctor before implementing it into your medication regimen.

If you’re looking to use cannabis with Lamictal to address bipolar disorder symptoms, its usefulness varies case-by-case basis. Some strains of cannabis can produce paranoia, while others can lift low moods and soothe manic anxiety, and each person responds differently.

No studies support their benefits in tandem, but if you want to try it, work with your doctor to determine what kind of cannabis would best work with your situation.

Potential Risks

Cannabis and Lamictal have not shown any significant adverse interactions, but research is sorely lacking. The sedative properties of Lamictal may be increased by concurrent marijuana use. Those who use the two together may also experience an increased risk of dizziness and confusion.

Too-high doses of Lamictal can cause dangerous rashes that lead to hospitalization and even death in severe cases. Most of these rashes occur within two to eight weeks of treatment, so it may behoove you to wait to add cannabis to the mix until you’ve determined your response to Lamictal.

Cannabis could also compound some side effects of Lamictal, leading to dizziness, confusion, drowsiness, and motor coordination. There’s also no research examining different dosages, so it’s best to follow the adage “start low and go slow.”

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The Bottom Line

No definitive research indicates that cannabis and Lamictal negatively interact with one another, but that’s mostly because cannabis’ status as a Schedule I drug makes it challenging to study. It is suggested that, as both cannabis use and Lamictal have sedative effects, there is the chance that using them together can increase sedation, dizziness, confusion, and loss of balance. Discuss your treatment goals with your doctor to learn whether mixing marijuana and Lamictal is right for you.

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