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Antidepressants vs. Medicinal Cannabis to Treat Tourette’s Syndrome

Antidepressants vs. Medicinal Cannabis to Treat Tourette's Syndrome

While tics are the primary symptom of Tourette’s syndrome, the disorder can also cause mood issues like depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. To manage these problems, some doctors prescribe antidepressants.

But, mental health medication like antidepressants can be unreliable. Some patients who don’t find success with antidepressants use marijuana medicine instead.

About Antidepressants

Antidepressants come in different varieties that relieve certain mood issues. Many mental health medications have overlapping uses, and antidepressants are no different. The types of antidepressants include:

  • General Antidepressants: Some antidepressant drugs have one purpose only — relieving depression.
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): SSRIs treat both depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Anxiolytics: Patients tend to use anxiolytics for tension and anxiety, but some patients with depression use them for secondary symptoms.
  • Antipsychotics: While the main purpose of antipsychotics is to treat psychotic conditions, they can also improve mood.

The type of antidepressant a doctor prescribes depends on past medications used and the patient’s other mood symptoms. Sometimes, a doctor will try a different kind of antidepressant when another type doesn’t work. When you begin a new antidepressant, you will probably start with a low dose and work your way up.

Side Effects and Drawbacks of Antidepressants

Antidepressant drugs have changed the lives of many folks with mental health conditions. But, they have many negative traits that make the treatment process unreliable and sometimes risky. Side effects of antidepressants can include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Insomnia
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Memory problems
  • Muscle spasms
  • Weight gain

When you take antidepressants, you also must monitor your treatment regularly. You should make regular visits to your doctor to provide updates about your symptoms. Since your body can get used to an antidepressant, your doctor may have to increase the dosage now and then. Sometimes, you may have to change to a different medication altogether because it just isn’t effective anymore.

Some medications can also cause issues with discontinuation. If you stop taking certain antidepressants suddenly without tapering off, you can get very sick. The symptoms can feel just as bad as or even worse than your depression symptoms.

Medical Marijuana — The Natural, Safe Alternative

Due to the issues that many pharmaceuticals have, more patients are opting for marijuana medicine. Patients who have mood issues use it to lift their mood or calm down, and some use it for both! When used properly, medical marijuana can relieve the depression and anxiety Tourette’s syndrome can cause.

Cannabis medicine doesn’t come in a variety of unpronounceable names. Instead, you only have to worry about cannabinoid content and product type. Cannabinoids, the components in marijuana, have special health benefits. Dispensaries offer medications like edibles, topicals, tinctures and more, depending what your state allows. Choosing medicinal cannabis lets you pick medications that fit your lifestyle and symptoms instead of leaving it all up to a doctor.

Some patients build a tolerance to medical marijuana. But, there are easy solutions for patients who have developed a cannabis tolerance. You can work with your doctor to adjust your dosage or strain so your medicine gives you the same benefits again. Best of all, since marijuana medicine has no withdrawal or discontinuation symptoms, you can take a brief break for a few days and feel the same effects as before you built up a tolerance when you start taking it again.

How to Try Medical Marijuana as an Alternative Solution

If you live in a state with legalized medical marijuana, visit a marijuana-certified doctor to get a recommendation. These doctors can also help you adjust your treatment plan and offer personalized advice. Once you become a member of your state’s medical marijuana program, you can visit a dispensary to fill your recommendation.

Information about Medical Marijuana and Tourette’s Syndrome

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