Does cannabis interact with antidepressants or lithium?
Cannabis and antidepressants
Cannabis or marijuana can interact with tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), such as amitriptyline, imipramine and dothiepin.
Both cannabis and TCAs can cause an abnormally fast heartbeat (tachycardia) and high blood pressure (hypertension). There’s also a risk of other side effects, such as confusion, restlessness, mood swings and hallucinations.
There’s a risk that using cannabis while you’re on any of these medicines could lead to problems such as tachycardia, even if you don’t already have a heart condition.
Little research has been done into the interaction of cannabis with other types of antidepressants, such as SSRIs.
Cannabis and lithium
Lithium is used to treat bipolar disorder, a condition where people can switch between depression and extreme excitement and agitation (mania).
There’s little evidence to suggest that people who use cannabis should normally not take lithium, but this hasn’t been properly researched.
Side effects of cannabis
It’s not clear how often cannabis itself can cause anxiety or depression, but research suggests this can happen.
It’s therefore recommended that if you’re anxious or depressed and you use cannabis regularly, you should try giving up and see if that helps.
Tachycardia, dizziness, anxiety, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting, difficulty sleeping and confusion are all possible side effects of cannabis.
These side effects can also be caused by certain antidepressants, so using cannabis at the same time can make them worse.
If you have any concerns about the medicines you’re taking, talk to your GP or pharmacist.
You can also phone NHS 111 or Talk to Frank, a friendly confidential drugs helpline, on 0300 123 6600.
- Antidepressant drugs
- Can I drink alcohol if I’m taking antidepressants?
- Medicines information
Page last reviewed: 27 March 2018
Next review due: 27 March 2021
Drug Interactions between cannabis and Zoloft
This report displays the potential drug interactions for the following 2 drugs:
- Zoloft (sertraline)
Interactions between your drugs
sertraline cannabis (Schedule I substance)
Applies to: Zoloft (sertraline) and cannabis
Using sertraline together with cannabis (Schedule I substance) may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.
Drug and food interactions
Applies to: Zoloft (sertraline)
You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with sertraline. Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of sertraline such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people may also experience impairment in thinking and judgment. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns.
cannabis (Schedule I substance) food
Applies to: cannabis
Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of cannabis (Schedule I substance) such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people may also experience impairment in thinking and judgment. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with cannabis (Schedule I substance). Do not use more than the recommended dose of cannabis (Schedule I substance), and avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medication affects you. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns.
Therapeutic duplication warnings
No warnings were found for your selected drugs.
Therapeutic duplication warnings are only returned when drugs within the same group exceed the recommended therapeutic duplication maximum.
- Cannabis Drug Interactions
- Zoloft Drug Interactions
- Zoloft General Consumer Information
- Drug Interactions Checker
Drug Interaction Classification
|Major||Highly clinically significant. Avoid combinations; the risk of the interaction outweighs the benefit.|
|Moderate||Moderately clinically significant. Usually avoid combinations; use it only under special circumstances.|
|Minor||Minimally clinically significant. Minimize risk; assess risk and consider an alternative drug, take steps to circumvent the interaction risk and/or institute a monitoring plan.|
|Unknown||No interaction information available.|
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Some mixtures of medications can lead to serious and even fatal consequences.A Moderate Drug Interaction exists between cannabis and Zoloft. View detailed information regarding this drug interaction. ]]>