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Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Marijuana heart attack?


 waffenamp - Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:53 am

Im new to this site and after searching the net for formation I found this site. Well my question is did I screw up my heart one day. I will give information on my experience. Im a long time drug user 10 years of marijuana, cocaine occasionally, ciggerettes off-on for 10-15 years, not much alchohol since younger. I quit doing everything about 10 months ago went cold turkey on everything no smoking anything or drinking, but I relapsed about a week ago and feel horrrible that I went back to my bad habits. I was riding motorcycle and decided to stop at a friends. Well when I got there everyone was smoking pot out of a pipe so I just took it and started smoking. Well I took about 10 hits or so then was feeling high. Everyone satrted to look at my motorcycle and asking me questions about it. I started it up and trying to be cool I revved it up several times to show them what it sounded like. Well I revved it up high rpm and felt kinda shaky after doing this. Then while sitting on the bike I startted to get bad chest pains right where my heart area is located like between my nipples. I kept thinking about it and kept thinking a vein in my heart isnt getting enough blood flow. Well this pain lasted about 1 hour and then I left feeling horrible about my situation. I felt kind of tired after I left like I almost died or somthing. After that I went to my cousins where I ended up smoking more pot. After standing up in my cousins house for around a hour I started feeling dizzy like I was going to pass out , I quickly shook my cousins hand and left before I passed out and dropped on his floor. I really think the marijuana caused me all of these problems an am worried i had a heart attack does it sound like I did? I went to the ER 2 days later cause I worried myself into going. They did an ekg and said it was normal so I don't know what the hell and why chest pains I had.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:54 pm

User avatar Hi there --

Well something happened! It seems unlikely you suffered a heart attack for a number of reasons, including the fact your EKG was normal. However, pain in the center of the chest, weakness and ultimately passing out, are not okay and you should be followed up to hopefully discover the cause of this episode. While the use of marijuana did not likely cause a heart attack, it can cause a number of problems including aggravating latent heart disease, and one can have a cardiac episode without suffering damage to the heart muscle. Because of your long history of cocaine and tobacco use (much more significant than your pot smoking, although it certainly wouldn't help), you are at somewhat greater risk for heart disease than another person your age might be. Again, however, you've been clean for most of the past 10 months, so most of the risk should have disappeared by now. And while on that subject, you are to be commended for having managed that period of sobriety. Looked at objectively, you've been clean and sober for the better part of a year. Your one evening of pot smoking doesn't erase that, but is merely a small setback. What happened that night may or may not have been related, and could at least serve as motivation to avoid doing it in the future, but you don't erase all the good work (sorry 12-steppers, this is the clinical view) by going off the wagon once. I would hope you were suffiently disturbed by whatever happened to remain clean from here on out. In any case I would warn you that smoking anything during or after an episode such as you experienced is only going to make it worse, especially if it is heart of lung related. So please don't do that!

Again, while it seems less likely (due to the EKG) this was heart-related, the ER staff should have also done some blood work to help correlate with the EKG, since changes often don't show up for up to 36 hour after a coronary event, and, again, you do carry some extra risk of heart disease because of your past cocaine and tobacco use. We also don't know anything about your coronary anatomy or family history, and you did pass out, so please do arrange to have a competent cardio workup to rule out any structural heart disease. Good luck to you with all this, and hopefully you'll use this a a learning experience. Please follow up with us here as needed.
 waffenamp - Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:31 pm

Thanks for the reply. You are right the ER was going to take blood test but I denied them cause I wasnt feeling in the best frame of mind for giving blood, and it was like 2 days after I had this episode that it happened. I must tell you that I have had these episodeds before probly happening about 15-20 times since my 16 youth. I have passed out feeling dizzy and passing out after smoking marijuana. Also around a year ago I was at a party and after smoking marijuana I was standing around a fire outside I started to get chest pains similar to my pains I recently had. Well I remember having this pains in the center of my chest then I remember worring that im having a heart attack and didnt know what to do. I then got really lightheaded dizzy and blacked out. People tryed to help me up then I stood back up again only to black out again like a few seconds later. These pains im having in my chest Are in the center of my chest behind my brest plate thing and it feels like stinging or like hairs being pulled out of my chest kind of or pinching. I must also tell you about my emoitional health is not very good probably from years of drug abuse. I was recently diagnosed with schizoeffective disorder but I think im a paranoid scchizophrenic. I have problems communicating with people in the real world and somtimes I feel like people are trying to kill me. I dunno if this plays into my drug abuse and chest pains but it might, but it felt so much like I was having a heart attack.

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