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Generic Name: Dronabinol [droe-NAH-bih-nol].

Brand Names: Marinol, Syndros.

Drug Class: Other antiemetics.

What is Marinol?

Marinol is a synthetic form of cannabis (also called marijuana). Marinol can be used to treat a decrease in appetite that can cause weight loss in patients suffering from AIDS. Marinol can also be used to combat severe nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy for cancer. It is typically prescribed when medications for vomiting and nausea have been tried with no success.


Marinol could trigger an increase or worsening of psychosis (unusual thoughts or behavior), particularly when you've had anxiety or depression. Marinol may cause an increase or decrease in blood pressure, particularly for those who are older or patients with heart disease. Consult your physician immediately if you notice any new or more severe mood issues or changes in your behavior, such as headaches, vision issues, fast heartbeats, or extreme dizziness. Marinol is a drug that can be addictive and should only be used by the patient who was prescribed it. It is not recommended to give it to anyone else, particularly one with a history of addiction to drugs or regular use of marijuana. Place the drug in a secure location where no one else can access it. Do not take other medications that can affect the central nervous system (such as stimulants, diet pills, cold medicines, pain medications, muscle relaxers, and medicines for depression, seizures, mental illness, anxiety, and Parkinson's disease). Other medications can contribute to the negative effects of Marinol. Marinol has effects that can impair the ability to think and react. Don't drive or do things that require you to remain alert and awake until the effects fade.

Before you start taking this drug

It is not recommended to take Marinol when you have an allergy to dronabinol. It is not recommended to use Marinol capsules if you are intolerant to sesame oils. To ensure that this medication is suitable for you, inform your doctor if you have ever experienced:

  • A reaction to a medicine.
  • Epilepsy or a different seizure disorder.
  • Heart issues Heart problems, low or high blood pressure episodes and rapid heartbeats.
  • Drug addiction or alcoholism.
  • Depression, mental illness, or psychosis.

Seniors might be more susceptible to the effects of this drug. It isn't known if the drug could harm an unborn baby. Consult your physician if you are expecting or planning to become pregnant. HIV could be transmitted to your child if you aren't treated properly during your pregnancy. If you are suffering from HIV or AIDS, be sure to take all your medications as directed to treat your condition. Dronabinol may be absorbed through breastmilk and harm a nursing child. Do not feed your baby while taking this medication or for a minimum of nine days following the last dose. Women who have HIV or AIDS are not allowed to feed their babies. Even if your child is born without HIV, the virus could be transmitted to your baby through your milk. Marinol is not permitted for use by anyone who is younger than

Similar/related drugs

Ondansetron, lorazepam, and dexamethasone; Zofran; Ativan; metoclopramide; and Cyproheptadine

How to take Marinol?

Use Marinol exactly as recommended for you. Follow the directions on the prescription label. The doctor may alter your dosage. Avoid using this medication in smaller or larger amounts or for a longer period than prescribed. Dronabinol could cause dependence. Do not take Marinol with someone else, particularly someone who has a history of drug addiction or abuse. Place the medication at a distance from where others aren't able to access it. The misuse of the drug can lead to addiction, overdose, or even death. Offering or selling this medicine is against the law. Inform your physician if you have a strong urge to take greater or lower doses than the ones prescribed. Check all the information for patients, including medication guides and instruction sheets, that you receive. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor for any additional questions. In order to increase appetite among people who suffer from AIDS, Marinol is usually taken one hour prior to lunch and one hour prior to dinner.

To avoid nausea and vomiting triggered by chemotherapy:

  • Start your dose with a full stomach, at least 30 minutes prior to eating.
  • Following your initial dose, you can start taking Marinol in combination with or without meals; however, you should take it in the same manner each time.
  • Marinol is typically administered between 1 and 3 hours prior to the chemotherapy treatment, and after that, every two to four hours (up to six doses a day).

To avoid vomiting and nausea, Marinol is usually given between 1 and 3 hours prior to the chemotherapy treatment, and after that, every 2 to 4 hours (up to six doses per day). Adults over the age of 65 may have to take this medication more frequently. Follow the dosing guidelines of your doctor with care. Follow the instructions of your doctor. You might need to adhere to specific diets while taking Marinol. Follow the directions of your physician or dietitian. Find out about the food items you should consume to increase your food intake. Take the capsule whole; don't crush or chew on it, break it, or even open it. Consult your physician if symptoms don't improve or get worse during use of Marinol.

Do not stop taking this medicine abruptly after prolonged use, or you could experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Discuss with your physician how you can completely stop taking dronabinol. Keep the capsules in a tightly sealed container and keep them in the refrigerator. Avoid freezing. It is also possible to keep the capsules in a cool, dry room free of heat and moisture.

Details on dosage

Usual Adult Dose for Nausea and Vomiting -- Chemotherapy Induced:

Initial dosage: 5 mg/m2, 1 up to 3 hours prior to chemotherapy treatment. Then each 2 to 4 hours following chemotherapy, for a total of up to 6 doses daily.

Usual Adult Dose for Anorexia:

The first dose is 2.5 mg orally twice every day, prior to lunch and dinner.
Max: 20 mg per day taken in 4 divided doses.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Nausea and Vomiting -- Chemotherapy Induced:

Initial dose: 5 mg/m2, one up to 3 hours prior to chemotherapy treatment. Then each between 2 and 4 hours following chemotherapy, for a total of four to six doses daily.

What happens if  I miss a dose?

Do the medication as quickly as you can; however, do not take your missed dose if you are nearing the time to take the next dose. Don't take two doses in one go.

What happens if I overdose?

For medical emergencies, seek immediate attention. Or contact the poison help line at 1-800-222-1222. The symptoms of an overdose could include mood changes or memory issues, little or no urination, constipation or loss of energy, speech problems, issues with coordination, or feeling lightheaded.

What should be avoided?

Do not smoke marijuana while taking Marinol. Avoid operating machinery or driving until you understand what effects this medicine can have on your body. The effects of drowsiness and dizziness could cause accidents or falls. Don't drink alcohol when taking this medicine.

Adverse effects of Marinol

Seek medical attention immediately. If you are experiencing symptoms of an allergy reaction, Marinol Hives, a skin rash, mouth sores, or burning sensations such as warmth, redness, a tingly sensation, difficulty breathing, and swelling of your lips, face, and throat.

See your doctor right away. If you suffer from:

  • A seizure.
  • Heartbeats that are fast or rapid
  • A feeling of lightheadedness, similar to when you're about to pass out.
  • Trouble sleeping, confusion, and issues with memory concentration.
  • Rare change in behavior or mood.
  • Feeling anxious, restless, or angry.
  • Drooling, slurred speech.
  • Chronic or severe nausea, vomiting, nausea, or stomach discomfort.
  • A rise in blood pressure, intense eye strain, blurred vision, or a pounding sensation in your neck or ear.

Common Marinol adverse effects could include:

  • Feeling "high".
  • Drowsiness, dizziness, and trouble thinking.
  • Strange thoughts or worries.
  • Extreme happiness and feelings of joy.
  • Nausea, vomiting, and stomach discomfort

This is not an exhaustive list of probable side effects, and more may arise. Contact your physician for advice regarding medical effects. You can report any symptoms to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Interaction with other drugs

There are times when it's not recommended to take certain medications together. Certain drugs may affect your blood sugar levels and the other drugs that you are taking. This could cause more side effects or make the medication less efficient. Utilizing Marinol along with other medications that cause drowsiness can increase the severity of this effect. Consult your physician before taking opioids, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medication to treat seizures or anxiety. Other medications may be incompatible with dronabinol, which includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines such as vitamins and herbal remedies. Inform your doctor about all the medicines you are currently taking as well as any medications you take or stop taking.