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    Can smoking Marijuana cause seizures?

Posted on Tue, 16 Aug 2016 in Brain and Spine
Question: Hi - my 18 yr old daughter recently had three seizures over 18 hrs that the paramedics thought looked a little unusual as she wasn't foaming from the mouth and shaking as much as thrashing side to side. I went into her car and there was a very strong smell of marjuana meaning she had just smoked up before going to bed. The seizures happened as she woke up.She later admitted that she smokes every day from a bong and needs it just to sleep at night. She has been running ragged with little sleep, lots of stress and has had a slight history of migraines and over heating. The Neurologist at the hospital has placed her on Dilantin. The EEG showed seizure activity had occurred. Other tests/CT scan ruled out a tumour or bleeding/swelling of the brain. Question : is it at all possible the the excessive weed use or maybe tainted weed triggered the seizures and that at some point she can come off the Dilantin? Also, should she avoid Marijuana and alcohol at this point to see if her next EEG shows different results after abstaining for a few weeks?
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Marijuana and alcohol can trigger seizures.

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for posting your query.

I am Dr Sudhir Kumar, Neurologist and would try my best to help you.

I have noted your daughter's details and I agree that Marijuana and alcohol can trigger seizures. Stress as well as lack of sleep too can trigger seizures in persons predisposed to get them.

I agree that since the EEG is abnormal, she needs to be on anti-epileptic medications.

If she quits marijuana and alcohol, leads a stress-free life and sleeps adequately, it is possible that she can come off Dilantin after 2-3 seizure-free years.

I hope my answer helps. Please get back if you have any follow up queries or if you require any additional information.

Wishing you good health,

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Internal Medicine), DM (Neurology) XXXXXXX Consultant Neurologist
Apollo Hospitals, XXXXXXX XXXXXXX
Click on this link to ask me a DIRECT QUERY: http://bit.ly/Dr-Sudhir-kumar
My BLOG: http://bestneurodoctor.blogspot.in

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Sudhir Kumar 4 minutes later
Thanks for the fast reply.

Is this something that is somewhat common in teenagers, marijuana overuse causing seizures?

Also, why do you think my family doctor says she needs to quite Marijuana, that he believes its a possible trigger while the neurologist at the hospital said go ahead and smoke marijuana as it wont cause any issues because she's on the drug?
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 6 minutes later
Brief Answer:
It is not so common

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for getting back.

Marijuana and alcohol intake are related to seizures. However, the exact incidence is not known. That is why it is common to have difference of opinion between doctors.

The seizures depend on the amount of marijuana and alcohol intake, higher risk of seizures with heavy intake.

Also, it is the sudden withdrawal of marijuana and alcohol, that causes seizures in people who regularly use them.

Best wishes,

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Sudhir Kumar 14 minutes later
last question - this wouldn't be considered pseudo seizures because the EEG showed the abnormal spikes - correct?
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 18 minutes later
Brief Answer:
You are right.

Detailed Answer:
Yes, in pseudo seizures, EEG is normal, whereas in her case, EEG showed seizure activity. So, these are not pseudo seizures.

Best wishes,

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Sudhir Kumar


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