Antidepressants And CBD Oil, Weed, And Other Interactions

Last Updated: June 3, 2020

Authored by Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

Antidepressants can interact with many other medications, including over the counter drugs. These interactions range from mild to severe ones. Antidepressants interactions are what the patients should be aware of to keep their health safe, as even some food may interact with depression medications.

CBD Oil And Antidepressants

Some patients report that mixing CBD and antidepressants (SSRIs) together actually improve the depression symptoms with no side effects. However, this combination might not be for everyone. The most prescribed antidepressants might negatively interact with CBD as well.

Previous research has shown that CBD and antidepressants are metabolized by the same liver enzymes, CYP450. With CBD being a potent inhibitor of these enzymes, there is a high risk of larger quantities of depression drugs to get into the patient’s system with dangerous side effects.

taking weed and antidepressants together

Antidepressants And Weed

Marijuana and antidepressants have dangerous interactions. The plant can interact with TCAs causing high blood pressure, tachycardia, confusion, mood swings, restlessness, and hallucinations. The side effects of smoking weed on antidepressants also include anxiety, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, and difficulty sleeping.

Taking Psychedelics While On Antidepressants

Shrooms And Antidepressants Interactions

Shrooms, magic mushrooms, or psychedelic mushrooms contain psilocybin, which is the main psychoactive component. This compound alters specific neurotransmitter systems, the same ones that some depression medications work on. That is why there is a high risk of overstimulating the body. Shrooms also cause the body temperature to intensely fluctuate, from shivering and chills to sweating and flushes.

LSD And Antidepressants Interactions

LSD affects a series of neurotransmitters, among which serotonin. That is why combining LSD and depression drugs might cause Serotonin syndrome, which occurs when two drugs that increase serotonin levels are taken simultaneously. The condition’s symptoms include delirium, hallucinations, confusion, restlessness, shivering, tremors, irregular heartbeat, flushing, fever, hypertension, diarrhea, and tearing of the eyes, among others. The condition can be lethal.

Ashwagandha And Antidepressants Interactions

Ashwagandha, or Withania Somnifera, might boost the sedative effects of certain drugs used for battling depression such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates. The combination might cause too much sleepiness and drowsiness. Take Withania somnifera only under the doctor’s supervision.

MDMA And Antidepressants Interactions

Studies show that MDMA in combination with SSRIs can cause a rapid increase in serotonin concentration, leading to Serotonin syndrome. Besides this, the effects of MDMA can be diminished as well, making the individual increase the dose to get high, risking overdosing.

Both MDMA and depression medications are metabolized by the CYP2D6 enzyme, which means that both drugs will be processed much more slowly. It is similar to taking a higher dose of both drugs, putting an individual’s life in danger.

antidepressants interactions with other dugs

Medication Interactions

Can One Take Viagra With Antidepressants?

Sexual dysfunction is a common side effect of depression medications affecting between 30% and 70% of patients. Viagra, taken while under depression treatment, has two benefits:

  • One of them is that it helps patients deal with sexual dysfunction and have a normal sex life and learn how to orgasm on antidepressants.
  • The other one is that fixing this problem prevents patients from stopping their treatment.

Antidepressants And Birth Control Pill

In general, depression medications do not affect the efficacy of birth control pills in any way. But the combination of the two drugs might cause changes to the patient’s mood since depression medications affect the hormone levels, and the birth control pill is made from synthetic hormones.

Can One Take Magnesium With Antidepressants?

Studies show that supplements containing magnesium are an inexpensive, safe, and fast way to control symptoms of depression. Patients under SSRI treatment reported even more significant positive results when taking magnesium with their treatment. Magnesium boosts the effects of depression medications. Patients with high normal magnesium levels showed a better response to depression medications compared to those with normal magnesium levels.

Cold Medicine And Antidepressants Interactions

SSRI may have negative interactions when combined with over the counter cold and cough medications. For example, Sertraline and Citalopram have interactions with anti-inflammatory medications. Mixing Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro with aspirin can seriously harm the liver.

Antibiotics And Antidepressants Interactions

The interaction between antibiotics and depression medications may have serious and even fatal consequences. One of the most dangerous combinations is depression medications and linezolid, one of the most common antibiotics prescribed for infections such as pneumonia. Although some antibiotics interact with anxiety treatments, potentially dangerous interactions can be avoided with close medical supervision.

Other Drug Interactions

  • Adderall and antidepressants – Combining both increases the risk of developing serotonin syndrome.
  • Melatonin and antidepressants – Combining depression medications and melatonin supplements can increase the effects of antidepressants and result in oversedation.
  • Tramadol and antidepressantsTramadol increases the amount of serotonin in the brain, which could cause serotonin syndrome.
  • Valerian root interactions with antidepressants – Some depression medications combined with valerian may lead to side effects such as drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating. Older people are at higher risk and might experience impairment in judgment, thinking, and motor coordination.
  • Tamoxifen and antidepressants – Studies show that bupropion (Wellbutrin), fluoxetine (Prozac), and paroxetine (Paxil) are most likely to inhibit the CYP2D6 enzyme and interfere with tamoxifen treatment, reducing its efficacy.
  • Vyvanse and antidepressants – The interaction between Vyvanse and serotonergic drugs can lead to serotonin syndrome. The interaction between MAOIs and Vyvanse causes toxic neurological effects and malignant hyperpyrexia, which sometimes has fatal results.
  • Lithium and antidepressants – Taking lithium, along with depression medications, might cause serotonin syndrome.
  • Phentermine and antidepressants – The interaction between depression medication and Sertraline may increase the effects of phentermine, with side effects such as anxiety, restlessness, jitteriness, nervousness, and racing thoughts.
  • 5-HTP and antidepressants – Interacting, 5-HTP with depression drugs can increase serotonin too much, causing serious side effects such as shivering, anxiety, and heart problems.
  • St. John’s wort and antidepressants – Mixing both can lead to a boost of serotonin that is life-threatening.
  • Suboxone and antidepressants – Mixing suboxone and depression medications may lead to overdose and lethal outcome.
  • Xanax and antidepressants – Although there are no severe interactions between both, this combination might cause Xanax to stay in the system for longer, leading to symptoms such as excessive drowsiness.
  • Ibuprofen and antidepressants – Ibuprofen combined with SSRIs can increase the risk of internal bleeding, resulting in side effects such as blood in vomit, feeling tired, feeling faint, stomach cramps, and dark stool.

how antidepressants interact with various foods

Food Interactions

There are also some food interactions that patients taking depression medications should be aware of. This does not apply to people taking natural antidepressant foods.

Grapefruit And Antidepressants

The combination of grapefruit and antidepressants should be avoided because the fruit contains furanocoumarins, a chemical that interferes with the drugs’ metabolism by affecting the enzymes which break down depression medications.

This means that the drugs are not broken down properly, and even a safe dose can be dangerous. Therefore, a drug will linger in the system than it is intended with the usual dose. If the depression medications are being absorbed too fast, without being properly broken down, it can lead to side effects such as nausea, dizziness, or even an overdose.

Caffeine And Antidepressants

Another food interaction to note is caffeine and antidepressants. Too much caffeine makes the heartbeat irregular and increases blood pressure in patients taking MAOI treatment. Caffeine can also cause restlessness and increase anxiety in patients under SSRI medication and decrease the effectiveness of TCAs.

Some other potentially dangerous foods are:

  • aged or strong cheeses
  • aged meats
  • processed meats
  • fermented sauces and foods
  • snow peas and dried fruit

Always Seek Doctor’s Advice To Prevent Adverse Interaction

Before being prescribed depression medications, the patient should let the doctor know about any other drugs that they are currently taking to prevent possible interactions.

Antidepressants interactions can result in serious and even life-threatening side effects or diminish the medication efficacy, leading to an overdose. While many wonder what happens if one takes too many antidepressants, the issue of interactions is important, too.

Some interactions may lead to accidental drug abuse and addiction in the future if no actions are taken. That’s why it is critical to contact the drug rehabilitation centers as soon as any of the signs of abuse are noticed. There, the patients can get the best substance abuse treatment possible with a long-lasting effects.

Page Sources

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  2. The cough and cold season is on its way - caution for patients receiving SSRIs. Medsafe. 2009.
  3. Szopa A, Poleszak E, Wyska E, et al. Caffeine enhances the antidepressant-like activity of common antidepressant drugs in the forced swim test in mice. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology. 2016; 389(2): 211–221. doi:10.1007/s00210-015-1189-z.
  4. Sales AJ, Fogaça MV, Sartim AG, Pereira VS, Wegener G, Guimarães FS, Joca SRL. Cannabidiol Induces Rapid and Sustained Antidepressant-Like Effects Through Increased BDNF Signaling and Synaptogenesis in the Prefrontal Cortex. Molecular Neurobiology. 2019; 56(2): 1070-1081. doi: 10.1007/s12035-018-1143-4.
  5. Dobry Y, Rice T, Sher L. Ecstasy use and serotonin syndrome: a neglected danger to adolescents and young adults prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health. 2013; 25(3): 193-9. doi: 10.1515/ijamh-2013-0052.

Published on: October 15th, 2019

Updated on: June 3rd, 2020

About Author

Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

After successful graduation from Boston University, MA, Sharon gained a Master’s degree in Public Health. Since then, Sharon devoted herself entirely to the medical niche. Sharon Levy is also a certified addiction recovery coach.


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