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Is it safe to have medical Marijuana for anxiety while suffering from pulmonary embolism?

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Posted on Tue, 19 May 2015
Question: Hello. I was just released from the hospital on 5/2/15 after being diagnosed with multiple Pulmonary Emboli in my right lung. The doctors said these were caused due to my start of cigarette smoking in 8/14 & switching to a different, higher estrogen, birth control, the Nuva Ring, in 1/15. I was also diagnosed with hypothyroidism while I was there & treated for a flare up of my asthma, which I've had since 2nd grade; but, it has been exacerbated by the PE's the last week or so. So, I was started on Wafarin 5mg once daily until I have my next lab test done at the anticoagulation clinic on 5/4/15 & then will change the dose based on those results. I was also started on Enoxaparin 80 MG/0.8 ML, per syringe, subcutaneous injections every 12 hours. Additionally, they started me on Ranitidine (to protect my stomach from the Wafarin) at 150 MG twice daily, Levothyroxine (for the hypothyroidism) at 50 MG once daily 30 minutes before breakfast on an empty stomach, & Prednisone (for my lungs) 20 MG at a tapered dose of 3 tablets daily for 3 days, then 2 tablets daily for 3 days, then 1 daily for 3 days, then stop. And lastly they prescribed me Tramadol 50 MG every 6 hours as needed for the intense pain caused by the PE's in my chest & back. It, however, unfortunately, makes me extremely nauseous and incredibly ill, almost to the point where I'm just as worse as the pain makes me feel. My question is, I have a prescription for medicinal marijuana for anxiety & chronic pain due to scoliosis & neck & back injuries I suffered from a motor vehicle accident. Is it harmful to me because of my PE's, if I were to smoke the medicinal marijuana to alleviate the pain I'm experiencing in my chest & back due to the PE's, especially because the prescription label reads "To be used up to every 3-6 hours as needed for anxiety symptoms and/or to alleviate chronic to severe pain in neck, chest, upper back & lower back"? I know I can't smoke cigarettes anymore & I had quit due to the smoke in my lungs but did not know if marijuana smoke worked the same way? I also know I can't take any NSAIDS anymore with the two blood thinners I'm on, which rules out the prescription strength Aleve I used to rely on before I got my prescription for the medicinal marijuana. I also know I can no longer drink, so I'm running out of options & this crossed my mind, but, did NOT want to do anything that could harm me or put me at risk. Thank you for your help in advance. :)
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Answered by Dr. Hardik Sanghvi (30 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
You should not use marijuana.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, dear
I have gone through your question. I can understand your concern.
You have pulmonary embolism. With pulmonary embolism you should not use marijuana. It is more harmful. Smoking and drinking also should be avoided.

You can use morphine based pain killers to avoid pain. You should regularly take your warferin. Go for regular monitoring of PT and INR. Take the dosage accordingly. Once your pain dur to pulmonary embolism comes under control you become ok.

Take your drugs for thyroid accordingly.

Hope I have answered your question, if you have doubt then I will be happy to answer.
Thanks for using health care magic.
Wish you a very good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Hardik Sanghvi (18 minutes later)
Thanks for your response. I appreciate it. I will stay away from the marijuana, as well. I am taking all my other medications as directed to the letter and will keep my follow up appointments that begin Monday and continue to follow through with those as well. I have an appointment with my PCP in Internal Medicine next week Tuesday to recheck my lungs after the Prednisone treatment and also for either a free t4, free t3 or a TSH, I'm not sure which.

This next question is because I'm REALLY suffering from nicotine withdrawal, even with the patches, gum, meditation, essential oil aromatherapy and knitting/crocheting to keep my hands free. Does smokeless tobacco effect PE's the same way as cigarettes and marijuana smoke? I KNOW all the risks of it and how bad it is for you. It would only be used as a crutch to help me sleep and, well, function, as I am a wreck at the moment with all that's going on. I have severe generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder and the PE is either exacerbating it or vice versa. :( :/ I'm miserable
& desperate. And my prescribed Klonopin makes it worse because when it slows down my breathing it makes me think it's my PE & I'm suffocating, like an engine on a gas pedal.

I sound like a giant ball of nuerosis. I must seem like a real piece of work. Haha. :/ So, I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Hardik Sanghvi (11 hours later)
Brief Answer:
smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, dear
I have gone through your question. I can understand your concern.
Smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative. Nicotine and tobacco both has adverse effects on your coagulation pathway. Both increase the risk of clotting and pulmonary embolism. So you should avoid any kind of nicotine or tobacco.

Continue your all other medicines as per yiur prescription. Regularly check your thyroid function test as well as PT and INR. Take the thyroid medicine and warferin accordingly.

Hope I have answered your question, if you have doubt then I will be happy to answer. Thanks for using health care magic. Wish you a very good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Hardik Sanghvi

Hematologist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 7043 Questions

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Is it safe to have medical Marijuana for anxiety while suffering from pulmonary embolism?

Brief Answer: You should not use marijuana. Detailed Answer: Hi, dear I have gone through your question. I can understand your concern. You have pulmonary embolism. With pulmonary embolism you should not use marijuana. It is more harmful. Smoking and drinking also should be avoided. You can use morphine based pain killers to avoid pain. You should regularly take your warferin. Go for regular monitoring of PT and INR. Take the dosage accordingly. Once your pain dur to pulmonary embolism comes under control you become ok. Take your drugs for thyroid accordingly. Hope I have answered your question, if you have doubt then I will be happy to answer. Thanks for using health care magic. Wish you a very good health.