Citation: redblossom. "I Was Curious: An Experience with Fluoxetine & Cannabis (exp84321)". Erowid.org. Jul 17, 2017. erowid.org/exp/84321
Regular Fluoxetine User
In this experience report, I will be reviewing my use of fluoxetine as an anti-anxiety medication (next 3 paragraphs), as well as my experiences with it while on cannabis (4th paragraph and on).
I was diagnosed with medical anxiety when I was 16, and used a number of anti anxiety medications to help treat it, including effexor and citalopram. Both of them altered my moods, but made me extremely sleepy (effexor eventually came to the point where it caused more panic attacks than anything). The summer of 2009, I began using fluoxetine. I started off at 20 mg, and gradually increased to 60, which is what I have been taking for the past six months or so, and so far it has done its job.
Before I go into further detail, however, I’d like to make a side note for those who are considering taking fluoxetine. Fluoxetine is a SSRI, meant to balance out serotonin intakes in your brain. If you are depressed, or suffer severe anxiety like myself, and have been recommended by a doctor to take fluoxetine, my suggestion is take it. However, take it as prescribed; don’t mess around with the doses. I had a problem when I first started taking it, in which the pharmacy gave me the wrong dose. For about two weeks, I was taking 20 mg lower than what I should have been on, and it screwed me over. I experienced a series of panic attacks, 2-3 per day, for about good week before I managed to stabilize myself. Also, if you are looking into taking fluoxetine as a recreational drug, I suggest you don’t. The side effects are not all that fun (headaches, stomach cramps, cold sweats), especially if you’re not weening yourself onto a higher dose as if you would be for medical reasons.
Continuing on with my experience on fluoxetine, I am glad to say I have not had a serious panic attack since the summer. When I refer to a serious panic attack, I mean, severe feeling of hopelessness, along with terrible cold sweats, headaches, increased heart beat and blood pressure, an increase of stomach acid production, which causes severe nausea, and losing of the senses. Most I’ve ever had since was stomach pains due to nervousness, particularly during periods of high stress (finals for college, and once when a parent was admitted into the hospital). These usually last about a day or so, but do not interfere significantly with my everyday actions. I am currently also regularly practicing breathing exercises (deep, tense breaths with slow release) and meditation to help me find a comforting activity when I do become anxious (usually I spend 10 minutes doing breathing exercises out on my balcony, or somewhere scenic and relaxing) . On top of all this, I began seeing a counselor again, in attempts to overcome fears, and eventually be able to live my life without fluoxetine.
For a long time, I was also curious about trying cannabis. I began doing research on the effects of cannabis on someone who suffers severe medical anxiety, and I found the results were not pleasant. For five years, since I became interested in it, I had avoided it because I was scared it would fuck me over, until recently last weekend. My friend had been talking to me about it, and suggested I do more research. This time, I found mixed results, but I was not able to find a single case similar to mine: someone who suffers anxiety, currently on a steady 60 mg of fluoxetine, wanting to experience low quantity of cannabis for recreational use. I finally had the guts to ask my psychiatrist. He seemed pretty excited, but kept it completely confidential. While he said he could not personally endorse it as a psychiatrist, because cannabis does tend to have a negative reaction on people who suffer anxiety, he did not see anything wrong with using it once in a while. He suggested I stay away from creating a habit because cannabis does interfere with the serotonin intake in your brain and can create more stress and anxiety. However, if it was just a once-in-a-while thing, like maybe once every two weeks or so, I would probably be fine, so long as I did not smoke too much and the quality of the pot was clean.
So I decided to take the leap and smoked a joint. I only took two puffs, at around 12:30 am on a Friday night. I inhaled, similarly to the way when smoking hookah, and tried avoiding just “puffing”. I made sure it was with a friend I trusted who would take care of me if I did have a negative reaction to it
I made sure it was with a friend I trusted who would take care of me if I did have a negative reaction to it
, and who could get me reliable pot. I also did it in the comfort of my own apartment (more specifically, my balcony, which is my safe-spot) to make sure I would not become panicked by outside sources.
Immediately after passing the joint, my head became buzzed with “wtf did you just do! You’re gonna panic! You’re gonna panic!”, but after fifteen seconds of such negativity, I decided that if I continued like that, I would eventually panic, and therefore should just relax. I took a deep breath and concentrated instead on my neighbor’s drumming and the conversation with my friend. Within eight minutes or so of taking the two hits, I felt a light head buzz. I felt like I was reacting similarly to the same way when I am buzzed off of alcohol, but without the headache or the feeling of heaviness in my body. After finishing the joint, we moved inside. By this point, I had already forgotten about that I had been worried about panicking earlier, and watched tv for the next forty five minutes or so. Everything just seemed funnier. Mentally, I could still distinguish the fact that I was intoxicated, but I did not feel panicked, or even sick as I do sometimes when drinking. I just felt calm, chill. No headache. No panic. No stress about the next day. No stomach ache. Just an immense craving for cinnamon toast crunch. After watching TV for a while, we headed out to a corner food shack in the neighborhood. By the time we made it to the place, near 2:00 am, I felt sobered up; it had been about an hour and a half or so since I smoked. My friend was still high, but I figured mine lasted less because I also smoked significantly less than he did. We ate, came back to my place, and fell asleep by 3:00 am.
The next morning, I did feel a bit more tired than usually, similarly to the same way I do after drinking, but not with a hangover. My stomach did become upset, but I think that was mostly the burger’s fault than the actual pot. Overall, I felt pretty normal afterwards, and haven’t experienced any mix reactions with the daily 60 mg of fluoxetine.
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