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Can Propofol be effective during surgery on a person who smokes Marijuana?

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Posted on Fri, 23 Oct 2015
Question: My daughter just had a stimilator put in her neck. The original trial worked great, zero pain. Yesterday when they tried to put permanent in there were issues, she was not completly under due to the doctors needing to ask questions upon placement. She started moving her head, lifting up from the shoulders and a large PA had difficulty keeping her still. Due to the amount of anesthesia given ( it was slowly raised, so was more than she started with) they didnt want to risk possible airway problems and as a team decide not to complete the surgery. There is a plan to do it again with full anesthesia ( intibated)

My question is since she has being smoking pot for here pain can the propanol be less effective?
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Answered by Dr. Matt Wachsman (12 hours later)
Brief Answer:
first, you don't mean heart drug propranolol but sedative propofol

Detailed Answer:
This just isn't an effect that is seen. There are a LOT of other medications and conditions that could. There are two mechanisms that can do this...amount of drug and sensitivity to drug.
amount of drug can be affected by things that alter liver metabolism of drug these include other drugs, illnesses such as the flu, herbal supplements and even grilling food (increases drug metabolism). Smoking might do a bit of this. Pot smoking, probalby NOT.
Pediatric populations are notoriously difficult to dose with this drug and they metabolize it faster than adults.

The effect of the drug can be affected by things that change the activity of the brain. Nervousness for example can lower it's effectiveness. Getting used to sedation due to frequently being sedated. The presence of other drugs can make it more effective (other sedatives). Metabolic problems like low sodium will affect the drug's ability to function. Pot on board would likely make it more effective; if someone had pot withdrawal enough to be anxious or worse then that could interfere wtih sedation.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Matt Wachsman

Addiction Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1985

Answered : 4201 Questions

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Can Propofol be effective during surgery on a person who smokes Marijuana?

Brief Answer: first, you don't mean heart drug propranolol but sedative propofol Detailed Answer: This just isn't an effect that is seen. There are a LOT of other medications and conditions that could. There are two mechanisms that can do this...amount of drug and sensitivity to drug. amount of drug can be affected by things that alter liver metabolism of drug these include other drugs, illnesses such as the flu, herbal supplements and even grilling food (increases drug metabolism). Smoking might do a bit of this. Pot smoking, probalby NOT. Pediatric populations are notoriously difficult to dose with this drug and they metabolize it faster than adults. The effect of the drug can be affected by things that change the activity of the brain. Nervousness for example can lower it's effectiveness. Getting used to sedation due to frequently being sedated. The presence of other drugs can make it more effective (other sedatives). Metabolic problems like low sodium will affect the drug's ability to function. Pot on board would likely make it more effective; if someone had pot withdrawal enough to be anxious or worse then that could interfere wtih sedation.