dronabinol (Marinol, THC)

  • Medical Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Cancer 101: Cancer Explained

GENERIC NAME: dronabinol

BRAND NAME: Marinol, THC

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Dronabinol (Marinol) is a man-made compound that contains cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant (Cannabis sativa L). Dronabinol contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in standardized concentrations and does not contain other compounds found in street marijuana that is not approved by the FDA for medical use. Dronabinol activates cannabinoid receptors causing a wide range of effects in the brain, including short-term memory loss, euphoria, enhanced sensation, and increased appetite. It also prevents nausea and vomiting probably by inhibiting the vomiting center in the brain. Dronabinol was approved by the FDA in May 1985.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Dronabinol is a prescription medicine used to improve appetite in AIDS patients with weight loss problems. It also is used for preventing nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who have failed to respond to standard drugs for managing nausea and vomiting.

SIDE EFFECTS WARNING: Dronabinol contains cannabinoids and sesame oil and should not be used by patients who are allergic to these substances.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of dronabinol include

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/6/2015

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