Some people taking dronabinol (Marinol) reported feeling high when they took the medication. You may see or hear things that aren’t there, feel paranoid, or feel like you’re in a dream. These effects are more common for people taking higher doses for treatment of nausea and vomiting.
Dronabinol may cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication:
dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting;
This medication may cause harm to the fetus of a pregnant woman. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you become pregnant during treatment. Dronabinol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Dronabinol is a synthetic cannabinoid, and is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. It is available by prescription in the form of oral solutions and capsules, for the management of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conventional antiemetic treatments.
In recent years, dronabinol has been approved for use as an appetite stimulant for people with AIDS or who are undergoing chemotherapy. It has also been approved for treating severe nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conventional antiemetic treatments.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved dronabinol for any other medical use, including appetite stimulation or weight loss. The FDA has warned that dronabinol can cause psychiatric side effects such as hallucinations and paranoia, which can occur within the first week of treatment but may also occur after prolonged use.
How does dronabinol work?
Dronabinol is a man-made form of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active ingredient in marijuana. Dronabinol does not contain the other ingredients found in marijuana, such as cannabidiol and cannabinol, which may have health benefits.
Dronabinol is a Schedule III controlled substance because it has a potential for abuse and has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. The government regulates Schedule III substances more strictly than other controlled substances, requiring special registration and storage requirements for handling and dispensing. Also, refills are not allowed except by special permission from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which controls this substance under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Under this act, cannabis is considered to have no medical use and cannot be lawfully possessed or prescribed. However, scientists have found that cannabis contains chemicals that could be used as medicines.
Dronabinol is a pill that comes in two different strengths: a 2.5-milligram (mg) strength and a 5-mg strength. The 5-mg pill is for patients who weigh more than 90 pounds, and the 2.5-mg pill is for patients who weigh less than 90 pounds.
How do I use dronabinol?
Follow your doctor’s instructions about how and when to take dronabinol. You can take dronabinol with or without food, but it’s best to avoid heavy meals within 3 hours after taking dronabinol because they may increase the risk of side effects such as trouble with thinking or memory, feeling “high,” or vomiting. You may have side effects such as tiredness or dizziness when you first start taking dronabinol, but they usually go away after 2 weeks of treatment. If they become bothersome.