Regular marijuana smokers may require high levels of anesthesia while getting surgical treatments, according to new research. They found that regular marijuana inhalers needed more anesthesia than those who didn’t consume cannabis. The study findings appear in the Annals of the American Osteopathic Association. Actually, more than twice the amount of powerful anesthetic, propofol was needed for marijuana users as compared to others.
Dr. Mark Twardowski—main author of the study—despite poor knowledge regarding marijuana, several states have legalized the use of the substance for medical and recreational purposes. Therefore, it is not sure that marijuana doesn’t have an effect on other medicines and products that patients might be using. Through the recent research conducted by Dr. Twardowski and colleagues, it has been identified that marijuana can limit the effects of sedative medications used for simple endoscopic procedures.
In the research, the medical records of selected patients, who had undergone endoscopy at least once between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2017, were reviewed by the researchers in Colorado.
Of the 250 patients selected for the study, 25 were regular marijuana smokers. When the researchers correlated the medical records of smokers with non-smokers, they discovered that for attaining the precise levels of anesthesia, marijuana smokers required an additional amount of all three sedatives—fentanyl (14%), midazolam (19.6%), and propofol (220.5%)—compared to the non-consumers.
Researchers said that their findings highlight the importance of informing about the habit of marijuana consumption to the surgeons.
Twardowski said this might become a panic situation, as the treatment of marijuana users require a higher amount of sedatives, which could lead to the shutdown of patients’ respiration.
Dr. Ajay Wasan, vice chair for pain medicine at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said that similar studies have been collecting evidence regarding the issues arising by marijuana consumption.
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