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Do Medical Cannabis Patients Have to Worry About Drug Interaction?

Have you ever noticed that every visit with your doctor comes with a question about other medications you might currently be taking? There is a reason for that. Doctors always need to be concerned about drug interaction. In some cases, drug interaction can dilute or enhance the effects of a particular medication. Moreover, some drugs just shouldn't be mixed for safety reasons.

Does all of this apply to Medical Cannabis? Yes. If your primary care physician is not also your Qualified Medical Provider or Limited Medical Provider, they need to know that you use Medical Cannabis. Likewise, it is a good idea to inform your Pharmacy Medical Provider of any other medications you are currently using.

Cannabis and Antibiotics

A big concern people seem to have is that Medical Cannabis could interfere with prescription antibiotics. Some people are concerned that mixing the two is not safe. Let us nix the safety issue right from the get-go. To our knowledge, there have been no reports of dangerous drug interactions between cannabis and antibiotics. No worries there.

Still, there are legitimate concerns the cannabis might dilute the effects of certain antibiotics. This is entirely possible; we just don't know at this point. Some of the antibiotics that raise concern are clindamycin, erythromycin, and clarithromycin. Penicillin and amoxicillin both appear to be unaffected by cannabis.

Cannabis and Other Drugs

Antibiotics are largely benign in terms of their side effects. That is not the case with other drugs. Your doctor might prescribe a medication with a known side effect of making you drowsy. In such a case, using Medical Cannabis along with that other medication could enhance that particular side effect. Remember that THC has a sedating effect in most people.

You should also be careful about using Medical Cannabis alongside prescription opioids. We personally know of people who used cannabis to get themselves off opioids, and that's good. But doing something like that is always best when there is medical supervision involved. You can get yourself into real trouble by consuming too much cannabis while also taking prescription opioids.

Frank Discussions Are Key

All of this boils down to the realization that it's entirely possible for cannabis to interact with other medications. We do not have any hard science on the topic because Medical Cannabis is still so new. That's the bad news. The good news is that we have never heard widespread reports of extremely negative drug interactions.

As a patient, be prepared to have frank discussions with your Qualified Medical Provider and Pharmacy Medical Provider. Both need to know about all the medications you use. This includes over-the-counter drugs. They need to know for the simple fact that drug interactions do occur.

As of now, there do not seem to be any particular safety issues related to using Medical Cannabis alongside other prescriptions. But don't just assume. Talk things over with your medical providers and give them the opportunity to offer their recommendations.

If a Drug Interaction Occurs

In closing, do not hesitate to report any potential interaction issues to your medical provider. For instance, you may suspect that your Medical Cannabis enhanced the sedating effects of another medication. Your doctor needs to know this. They may decide that it is best to write you a new prescription for a different drug.

Drug interaction is always a concern when doctors write prescriptions. Thankfully, Medical Cannabis doesn't appear to cause any major interaction issues with the most commonly utilized prescription drugs. If anything on this front changes, we will be sure to let our readers know.

By UtahMarijuana.org
Published August 2, 2022
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