What is dronabinol?
Dronabinol is a man-made form of cannabis (marijuana is an herbal form of cannabis). Dronabinol causes many effects on your central nervous system.
Dronabinol is used to treat loss of appetite in people with AIDS. It is also used to treat severe nausea and vomiting that is caused by cancer chemotherapy. Dronabinol is for use only when other medications have been unable to control the nausea and vomiting.
Dronabinol may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to sesame oil, or if you have ever had an allergic reaction to natural or man-made marijuana such as dronabinol or nabilone (Cesamet).
Before using dronabinol, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
- epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
- high blood pressure (hypertension);
- heart disease;
- past or present mental illness such as depression, schizophrenia, or other psychotic disorders;
- a history of drug or alcohol addiction; or
- if you are also using other medicines that can affect your central nervous system, such as a tranquilizer, sleep medicine, or anti-psychotic medications.
If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use dronabinol, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.
Dronabinol may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Dronabinol should never be given to another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or habitual marijuana use. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.
FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Dronabinol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Older adults may be especially sensitive to the side effects of dronabinol.
Dronabinol is not for use in patients younger than 18 years old.
Avoid using other medicines that affect the central nervous system (such as stimulants, diet pills, cold medicine, pain medication, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, anxiety, mental illness, or Parkinson’s disease). These other drugs can add to the effects of dronabinol.
Dronabinol causes effects that will impair your thinking or reactions. Do not drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert until the effects of dronabinol wear off.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Symptoms of a dronabinol overdose may include dry mouth, extreme drowsiness, feeling extremely happy or sad, fast heartbeat, memory problems, urinating less than usual or not at all, disorientation, unusual thoughts or behaviors, problems with speech or coordination, panic, fainting, or seizure (convulsions).
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using dronabinol and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- seizure (convulsions);
- paranoia, extreme fear;
- fast heart rate;
- feeling light-headed, fainting; or
- unusual thoughts or behavior.
Continue using dronabinol and talk with your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:
- mood changes;
- dizziness, trouble concentrating;
- feeling "high";
- weakness, lack of coordination;
- anxiety, confusion;
- stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
- warmth or tingly feeling; or
- sleep problems (insomnia).
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Before taking dronabinol, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
- sedatives such as Ativan, Dalmane, Halcion, Klonopin, Librium, ProSom, Restoril, Tranxene, Valium, Xanax;
- barbiturates such as butalbital (Fiorinal), phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), secobarbital (Seconal);
- amphetamines, including stimulants and medicine to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD);
- prescription or over-the-counter weight loss aids (Dexatrim, Meridia);
- antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil), amoxapine (Ascendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Tofranil), or nortriptyline (Pamelor);
- theophylline (Respbid, Slo-Bid, Theo-24, Theo-Dur, Uniphyl);
- buspirone (BuSpar);
- atropine (Donnatal, and others);
- belladonna, dicyclomine (Bentyl);
- clidinium (Quarzan);
- glycopyrrolate (Robinul);
- hyoscyamine (Anaspaz, Cystospaz, Levsin, and others);
- mepenzolate (Cantil);
- methscopolamine (Pamine), and scopolamine (Transderm-Scop);
- methantheline (Provocholine), propantheline (Pro-Banthine); or
- street drugs such as cocaine or Ectasy.
If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use dronabinol, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.
There may be other drugs not listed that can affect dronabinol. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Marinol and dronabinol
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Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04