Citation: terrorified mind. "Extremely Bad Panic Attack: An Experience with Sertraline & Cannabis (exp38991)". Erowid.org. Aug 10, 2005. erowid.org/exp/38991
I take 200mg a day of zoloft (the highest safe recomended dosage I've been told by my doctor) per prescription for panic disorder. The zoloft has helped me tremendously in my life and I feel I am a success story of the drug. (blah blah blah)
I had tried marijuana numurous times in my life before I was diagnosed with panic disorder (about 2 or more years before I was diagnosed), and almost all of the experiences were in fact good experiences. A couple years later after I had been on a high dose of zoloft for a while my friends started getting into weed and so I decided to do it again. I tried it on two different occasions with the same results, which lead me to believe there might be a possible interaction...
The first time my friends came over to my house because my mom was out of town and I finnaly decided to hit the pipe right before they left. Minutes later after they left I went to my room and started to feel a racing hartbeat unlike anything I had ever encountered before, uncontrollable violent shaking, and what felt like sudden rises and drops in my body temperature. I also started to get extremely bad panic attacks which made me think I was going to die, yada yada... So I called 911 and took an ambulance ride to the hospital, and on the way there they clocked my pulse spiking at 190bpm. Later in the hospital the doctor, who also knew my mom, told me this was all caused by an interaction of zoloft and marijuana. This suprised me to the point that I thought he was lying to me because I had never read or heard anything about an interaction between zoloft and marijuana. They treated me by waiting for the high to subside then by giving me a sedative and released me soon thereafter. I experienced no after effects and was completely normal as well as fine and dandy the next day.
My friends reassured me that the doctor had lied to me as they had heard nothing about any drug interaction and told me I just had a bad trip blah, blah, blah. So a couple weeks later I decided to smoke some weed again while I was with them to make sure it wasn't just me freaking myself out. This time I smoked out of a nice brand new bong and got really ripped. After a couple of minutes I started to get a racing heart beat again, although I know this is a somewhat normal side effect of marijuana. I continued to experience the same symptoms as before including the violent shaking, seemingly rises and drops in body temperature- I would be really cold one moment and put on a sweater and jacket and then be really hot the next moment. Also I got extremely bad panic attacks with terror that cannot be described, although at this point I knew there was nothing to be scared about and I would be fine in a little bit and was not even scared of death at the moment, but the feeling of terror still came even though I was consciously not scared. It's very difficult to describe the unreasonable terror, but it is typical of a panic attack. My friends helped alot in comforting me and I was fine in a couple of hours.
I still don't believe that I was just having a bad trip on the grounds that I went into it feeling very good (even though I know bad trip can happen out of the blue), and I don't seem to have a problem with other psychedelics such as salvia, for example. I read recently at http://www.mdadvice.com/library/drug/drug386.html that weed can cause a decrease in the effect of sertraline, so maybe the zoloft just stopped working for a while and that was simply my panic disorder showing it's ugly head.
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