dronabinol (Marinol, THC) (cont.)

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Dronabinol is a controlled substance because it may be abused.



PREPARATIONS: Oral capsules: 2.5, 5, and 10 mg

STORAGE: Dronabinol capsules should be stored in a cool location between 8 C and 15 C (46 F and 59 F ) or in the refrigerator. Capsules should not be frozen.


For appetite stimulation in AIDS patients

  • The general recommended starting dose is 2.5 mg by mouth twice daily, before lunch and dinner.
  • Patients who are having difficulty tolerating this dosage may take 2.5 mg once a day in the evening or at bedtime.
  • In patients who are tolerating dronabinol well, the dose may be slowly increased up to a maximum dose of 20 mg per day.

For nausea and vomiting

  • 5 mg per meter-squared of body surface (5 mg/m2) should be administered 1-3 hours before chemotherapy followed by repeated administration every 2 to 4 hours after chemotherapy for a total of 4 to 6 doses per day.
  • If needed, the dosage may be increased in 2.5 mg/m2 increments to a maximum of 15 mg/m2 per dose.


Although no drug-drug interactions were identified during clinical trials conducted by the manufacturer, dronabinol should be used cautiously with other medications that are known to interact with cannabinoids.

People taking dronabinol should not drink alcohol, smoke marijuana, take sedatives and hypnotics, or take other medicines that have an effect on the central nervous system. Examples of drugs to avoid include diazepam (Valium), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), alprazolam (Xanax), secobarbital (Seconal), pentobarbital (Nembutal), and phenobarbital.

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate and well-controlled studies evaluating the use of dronabinol during pregnancy. Dronabinol should only be used during pregnancy if the potential benefit to the mother justifies the potential risk to the unborn baby. Dronabinol is classified as FDA pregnancy risk category C. (Animal studies have shown adverse effects on the fetus, but there are no adequate studies in humans.)

NURSING MOTHERS: Dronabinol is not recommended for use during breastfeeding because it is excreted into human milk and may have harmful effects on the nursing infant.

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/6/2015

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