A Panic Attack due to Cannabis

Scott R. is a 40 year old male who recently experienced a workplace accident that resulted in chronic back pain. Scott had tried using Tylenol#1 (i.e. codeine) and oxycodone for his pain but had not received significant relief despite the use of high doses.

His physician began to suspect that he was abusing these medications, although Scott insisted that he just needed a more potent prescription medication to control his pain. Scott began to turn to cannabis for pain relief and started to experience panic attacks. He decided to call Personalized Prescribing Inc. when he heard that his company offered the Rx Reportâ„¢ pharmacogenomic test as part of his benefit plan. Upon receiving the test results, Scott learned that he has a genetic mutation which prevented his liver from converting Codeine, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Tramadol into their active forms. The pharmacist recommended an alternative pain medication (i.e., Morphine) to Scott and his physician. The pharmacist also informed Scott that cannabis would not be a good option for him, as most studies have shown that cannabis is not effective for the treatment of muscle-related pain. In addition, cannabis strains high in THC are known to cause panic attacks. Scott was relieved to learn that there was an explanation for his past negative experience with medications. He also reported a drastic reduction in his pain upon the initiation of Morphine, on an as needed basis. He was better able to focus on his role as a financial analyst and felt that he had his life back.