Dronabinol is used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. It is usually used when other drugs to control nausea and vomiting have not been successful. Dronabinol is also used to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in patients with HIV infection. Dronabinol (also called THC) is a man-made form of the active natural substance in marijuana.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking dronabinol and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 3 to 4 times daily if you are taking it to control nausea and vomiting or twice daily (before lunch and before dinner) if you are taking it to treat appetite loss. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. If you are taking this medication to control nausea and vomiting, your dosage may also be based on your body size.
Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of serious side effects will increase.
This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as irritability, trouble sleeping, restlessness, hot flashes, and diarrhea) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.
Along with its benefits, this medication may rarely cause abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction). This risk may be increased if you have abused alcohol or drugs in the past. Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lessen the risk of addiction.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, feeling "high", an exaggerated sense of well-being, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, or stomach/abdominal pain may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fainting, fast/pounding heartbeat, mental/mood changes (such as anxiety, nervousness, hallucinations, abnormal thoughts, paranoia).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before taking dronabinol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to marijuana; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as sesame oil), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: regular use/abuse of drugs/alcohol/other substances, heart disease, high blood pressure, mental/mood disorders (such as mania, depression, schizophrenia), seizures.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or affect your judgment. Do not do any activities requiring alertness and clear thinking, such as driving or using machinery, until you know how this medication affects you and until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Alcohol can worsen these side effects. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness and mental/mood changes.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, and mental/mood changes.
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor for more details.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness including alcohol, antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine).
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness/dizziness, fast heartbeat, mental/mood changes, seizures.
Do not share this medication with others. It is against the law.
Keep all medical appointments so your doctor can monitor your response to treatment (such as your weight) and check for side effects.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store this medication according to the directions on the product package, away from light and moisture. Some brands must be refrigerated, and others may be stored at room temperature. Consult your pharmacist for more details. Do not freeze this medication or store it in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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