- What is dronabinol-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for dronabinol-oral?
- Is dronabinol-oral available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for dronabinol-oral?
- What are the side effects of dronabinol-oral?
- What is the dosage for dronabinol-oral?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with dronabinol-oral?
- Is dronabinol-oral safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about dronabinol-oral?
What is dronabinol-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
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.
What are the side effects of dronabinol-oral?
The most common side effects of dronabinol include
- rapid heartbeat,
- facial flushing,
- abdominal pain,
- paranoid reaction, and
- abnormal thinking.
Less common side effects include
- low blood pressure,
- eye problems,
- fecal incontinence,
- muscle pain,
- speech problems,
- ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and
Dronabinol is a controlled substance because it may be abused.
Quick GuidePancreatic Cancer Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
What is the dosage for dronabinol-oral?
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.
Which drugs or supplements interact with dronabinol-oral?
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.
Is dronabinol-oral safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
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.)
What else should I know about dronabinol-oral?
What preparations of dronabinol-oral are available?
Oral capsules: 2.5, 5, and 10 mg
How should I keep dronabinol-oral stored?
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.
Dronabinol (Marinol, THC), a compound that is man-made, is a drug prescribed to prevent nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who have not responded to standard drugs to manage nausea and vomiting. Dronabinol also is prescribed to improve the appetite in patients with AIDs who have problems maintaining weight. Side effects, drug interactions, dosing, storage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to administering this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
Learn about breast cancer causes, symptoms, tests, recovery, and prevention. Discover the types of treatments such as surgery and...
Ovarian Cancer Symptoms, Signs, Stages
Learn about ovarian cancer symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments. Follow the progression of ovarian cancer stages from stage 1 to...
Prostate Cancer Symptoms, PSA Test, Treatments
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Learn the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer, along with causes and...
Bladder Cancer Symptoms, Stages, Treatments
Bladder cancer occurs when cancerous cells, often from the lining of the bladder, begin to multiply. Find more information about...
Lung Cancer Symptoms, Stages, Treatment
Learn about lung cancer symptoms and treatments. Get more information on small cell lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and...
Cervical Cancer Symptoms, Stages, and Treatment
Cervical cancer is commonly caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infections. Learn about vaccines to prevent cervical cancer. Get...
Ovarian Cancer Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
How common is ovarian cancer and who is at risk? Take our Ovarian Cancer Quiz to learn the causes, symptoms, and treatment for...
Melanoma (Skin Cancer) Quiz: Symptoms & Signs
What causes skin cancer? Take our Skin Cancer Quiz to learn about the risks, symptoms, causes, and treatments for this common...
Top 10 Cancers Quiz
Take this quiz to learn the causes of cancer. Get the facts about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for the world's most...
Cancer-Fighting Foods in Pictures: Resveratrol, Green Tea, and More
Experts have praised certain foods for their ability to reduce cancer risks. Learn which foods and eating strategies may help...
Related Disease Conditions
Cancer is a disease caused by an abnormal growth of cells, also called malignancy. It is a group of 100 different diseases, and...
Nausea and Vomiting (Causes, Natural Remedies, Diet, Medication)
Nausea is an uneasiness of the stomach that often precedes vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but they are symptoms...
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes HIV infection and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Symptoms and signs...
Medical Marijuana (Medical Cannabis)
Medical marijuana (medical cannabis) is a medicine that is plant based. There are two species of medical marijuana; 1) Cannabis...
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
AIDS is the advanced stage of HIV infection. Symptoms and signs of AIDS include pneumonia due to Pneumocystis jiroveci,...
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Daily Health News
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Cancer Report Newsletter
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Top dronabinol-oral Related Articles
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)AIDS is the advanced stage of HIV infection. Symptoms and signs of AIDS include pneumonia due to Pneumocystis jiroveci, tuberculosis, toxoplasmosis, seizures, weakness, meningitis, yeast infection of the esophagus, and Kaposi's sarcoma. Anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) is used in the treatment of AIDS.
Bladder Cancer SlidesBladder cancer occurs when cancerous cells, often from the lining of the bladder, begin to multiply. Find more information about bladder cancer, the stages of bladder cancer, and available treatment options.
Breast Cancer SlidesLearn about breast cancer causes, symptoms, tests, recovery, and prevention. Discover the types of treatments such as surgery and drug therapies as well as the survival rate for breast cancer.
CancerCancer is a disease caused by an abnormal growth of cells, also called malignancy. It is a group of 100 different diseases, and is not contagious. Cancer can be treated through chemotherapy, a treatment of drugs that destroy cancer cells.
Cancer QuizTake this quiz to learn the causes of cancer. Get the facts about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for the world's most common cancers.
Chemo Infusion and Chemoembolization of LiverArterial chemotherapy infusion of the liver and chemoembolization of the liver (TACE) are used in the treatment of liver cancer. Chemotherapy is directly injected into the hepatic artery so that a higher concentration of chemotherapy agents reach the tumors without subjecting the patient to the toxicity of the chemotherapy. Intra-arterial chemotherapy can cause the following side effects:
- inflammation of the gallbladder(cholecystitis),
- intestinal and stomach ulcers, and
- inflammation of the pancreas(pancreatitis).
ChemotherapyChemotherapy is the treatment of cancer with drugs that can destroy cancer cells. These drugs often are called "anticancer" drugs. Chemotherapy is often used with other treatments. Coping with side effects (fatigue, nausea, vomiting, pain, hair loss, infection, diarrhea, constipation, fluid retention, mouth and throat problems) are important to understand when undergoing chemotherapy treatment. It is important to eat well during chemotherapy, and get the support you need both during and after treatment.
Chemotherapy Treatment for Breast CancerChemotherapy refers to medications that are administered to kill or slow the growth of cancerous cells. Chemotherapy may be given orally or intravenously. Side effects of breast cancer chemotherapy may include nausea, vomiting, hair loss, increased risk of infection, fatigue, and easy bruising. Receiving chemotherapy causes changes in a woman's menstrual cycle.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes HIV infection and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Symptoms and signs of HIV infection include fatigue, enlarged lymph glands, and recurrent vaginal yeast infections. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the standard treatment for HIV infection.
Medical Marijuana (Medical Cannabis)Medical marijuana (medical cannabis) is a medicine that is plant based. There are two species of medical marijuana; 1) Cannabis sativa, and 2) Cannabis indica. Medical marijuana is used to treat pain, nausea, anxiety, MS, insomnia, seizures, and muscle spasms. Medical cannabis is legal in a variety of states in the US. A card or licence is required to purchase medical marijuana in states where it is legal; however, medical cannabis is against Federal law. Medical marijuana comes in a variety of products, for example, gummy bears and other candy, muffins, cookies, drinks, salves, ointments, creams, oils, and wax.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea is an uneasiness of the stomach that often precedes vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but they are symptoms of many conditions. There are numerous cases of nausea and vomiting. Some causes may not require medical treatment, for example, motion sickness, and other causes may require medical treatment by a doctor, for example, heart attack, lung infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
Some causes of nausea and vomiting may be life threatening, for example, heart attack, abdominal obstruction, and cancers.
Treatment of nausea and vomiting depends upon the cause.
Ovarian Cancer SlidesLearn about ovarian cancer symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments. Follow the progression of ovarian cancer stages from stage 1 to stage 4 ovarian cancer. What is the survival rate for ovarian cancer patients? Read more…
Ovarian Cancer QuizHow common is ovarian cancer and who is at risk? Take our Ovarian Cancer Quiz to learn the causes, symptoms, and treatment for this disease.
Prostate Cancer SlidesProstate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Learn the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer, along with causes and treatments. Know the stages, survival rates and lower your risk of prostate cancer.
Skin Cancer QuizWhat causes skin cancer? Take our Skin Cancer Quiz to learn about the risks, symptoms, causes, and treatments for this common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide.