Dronabinol

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What condition does Dronabinol treat?

Dronabinol is a medicine used for the treatment of vomiting and nausea caused by cancer chemotherapy. This is usually used when other medications to control vomiting and nausea have not been successful. This prescription may also be used to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in patients with HIV infection. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved this medication already.

How does Dronabinol work?

Dronabinol works by affecting the area of the brain that controls appetite, nausea, and vomiting. When taking this drug, you will also experience the effects of THC on mood, memory, and the senses as you would with medical marijuana.  But in capsule form, there is no need for it to be smoked.

This medication takes 30 minutes to 2 hours to take effect. The mood, mental and physical effects last for 4 to 6 hours, while appetite stimulation can last for 24 hours.

What is the recommended dosage of Dronabinol?

The recommended dosage for this is based on your condition and response.

This is usually taken 4-6 times daily if you are taking it to control nausea and vomiting. If you are taking it for appetite loss, take it twice a day probably before lunch and before dinner. Make sure to take it with a full glass of water. Take it at the same time each day. Do not change the prescribed dosage. Follow the prescription very carefully.

If you abruptly stop using this medicine, you might have withdrawal symptoms such as trouble sleeping, irritability, restlessness, diarrhea, or hot flashes. To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used this medicine in high doses or for a long time. Tell your doctor right away if you have withdrawal.

Even though it helps lots of people, this medication may occasionally cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder. Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor for more details.

What are the side effects of Dronabinol?

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Mood changes
  • Confusion
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Warmth or tingly feeling
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Light-headedness
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Stomach or abdominal pain
  • Weakness
  • Unsteadiness
  • Lack of coordination

What are the precautions in taking Dronabinol?

  • Before taking this drug, make that you inform your doctor if you have any medical history or current medications. Tell also your doctor if you are allergic to this drug or if you have any allergies.
  • You should not share this or any of your medicines with others even if they have the same symptoms as yours.
  • If you are a pregnant or breastfeeding woman, consult your doctor first. Call your doctor right away if you get pregnant while taking this drug.
  • Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medicine.
  • Inform your doctor if you are taking any other medications.
  • Do not receive any immunizations or vaccinations while having this treatment without consulting your doctor.
  • Keep this away from the reach of children.