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While the research is lacking, most anecdotal reports indicate that taking marijuana with cetirizine is generally safe, as they act on different pathways in the body. However, some drug-drug interaction risk is possible and may increase side effects such as dizziness and drowsiness, despite cetirizine’s non-drowsy effects.
Read on to learn what we know about cannabis’ interaction with cetirizine and what you should know if you need to take both medicines.
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What Is Cetirizine?
Cetirizine (brand name Zyrtec) is part of a second-generation class of antihistamines designed to be a non-sedative medication for allergies. It’s a popular medication, thanks to its non-drowsy effects – compared to medications like Benadryl – and the long time it lasts in users’ systems.
Uses and How It Works
Cetirizine is an over-the-counter medicine for those with allergies who use it to relieve symptoms like runny nose, red, itchy eyes, sneezing, hives, and general body itching. It works by blocking the action of histamines, cells that are responsible for allergy symptoms.
Cetirizine is also available with pseudoephedrine (brand name Sudafed) to control more severe cold and immune response symptoms. Common side effects of cetirizine can include:
- Dry mouth
- Nausea or dizziness
- Sneezing or blocked/runny nose
Potential Benefits and Risks of Mixing Cannabis and Cetirizine
No research indicates any potential benefits of combining cannabis and cetirizine. Cetrizine and the components of cannabis target different pathways, even though they interplay with the immune system.
Cannabis isn’t known for dealing with histamines or allergic symptoms. However, it is theoretically possible that cannabis can reduce inflammation and cytokine production associated with an allergic reaction.
In most cases, any adverse reactions caused by combining cannabis with cetirizine depend on how the liver metabolizes the latter. Cannabinoids like CBD lengthen or potentiate the sedative effects of cetirizine, resulting in more sleepiness than either compound on its own. However, the liver only minimally metabolizes cetirizine, which could reduce the potential drug-drug interaction via how cannabinoids are processed in the body.
Interestingly, taking cetirizine could reduce the absorption and effectiveness of CBD, particularly in edible form. Cetirizine has been observed to inhibit P-glycoprotein, an essential intestinal transporter that plays a role in how drugs are absorbed via the digestive tract.
Finally, some clinical trials have observed fatigue and increased tiredness when combining cetirizine with other medications. While cetirizine is minimally sedative, it may cause impairment or impact cognitive performance when taken with CBD.
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The Bottom Line
You’re unlikely to experience adverse side effects when combining your allergy medication with medical marijuana. While taking cetirizine and marijuana simultaneously has minimal risk, discussing any possible drug interactions and unique health concerns with a qualified cannabis physician or pharmacist before concurrent use is best.
Frequently Asked Questions
What medications does CBD interact with?
CBD is known to interact with several prescription medications due to its impact on how the liver metabolizes other drugs, changing or prolonging the effects of some prescription drugs depending on their chemical makeup. Potentially serious drug interactions include:
- Blood thinners, like warfarin
- Heart rhythm medications
- Thyroid medications
- Seizure medications, like clobazam
Does CBD interfere with blood pressure medicine?
Some research has found that CBD may serve as a substitute for blood pressure medication, but the evidence is contradictory. Further studies are needed to understand CBD’s potential adverse or beneficial effects on cardiovascular conditions. Patients should talk to their doctor about how CBD may interact with their medication.
Can you smoke and take allergy medicine?
You’re unlikely to experience adverse side effects when combining your allergy medication with medical cannabis. However, smoking cannabis may cause allergy-like symptoms, such as dry mouth and eyes.
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