dronabinol (generic name)

It is used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatment, especially for those patients who do not respond to other medicines
(droe NAB i nol)
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What is this medicine?

DRONABINOL (droe NAB i nol) is used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatment, especially for those patients who do not respond to other medicines. This medicine is also used to increase appetite in AIDS patients.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • a history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • heart disease, including angina or irregular heart rate
  • high or low blood pressure
  • dizziness or fainting spells on standing
  • mental health problems (schizophrenia, mania, depression)
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to dronabinol, marijuana, sesame oil, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • nabilone

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alcohol-containing medicines or drinks
  • amphetamine or other stimulant drugs
  • barbiturates such as phenobarbital
  • certain antidepressants or tranquilizers
  • certain antihistamines used in cold medicines
  • cocaine
  • disulfiram
  • muscle relaxants
  • theophylline

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

The first time you take this medicine or have an increase in dose make sure there is a responsible person nearby. You may experience mood changes, easy laughter, or other changes in behavior.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you have low blood pressure or if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

If you are taking this medicine to improve your appetite, this is only part of your therapy. Discuss what you can eat and ways of improving your diet with your health care professional or nutritionist. Frequent small snacks as well as regular meals can help provide extra calories and protein.

Do not smoke marijuana while you are taking this medicine. It is similar to one of the active substances found in marijuana. You are at increased risk of serious heart and/or nervous system side effects if these drugs are used together.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • fast, irregular heartbeat
  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
  • hallucinations
  • panic reactions
  • slurred speech

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • anxiety or nervousness
  • confusion
  • nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • stomach upset

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Last Updated: March 04, 2009
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