Dronabinol is a prescription medication used
to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. It is also used to treat loss of appetite
and weight loss in people who have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Dronabinol belongs to a group of drugs called
cannabinoids. Dronabinol is a synthetic version of delta-9-THC, a naturally occurring cannabinoid
and the main psychoactive component in marijuana. While it is unknown exactly how Dronabinol
works, the drug is believed to produce its effects by binding to cannabinoid receptors
found in the central nervous system. This medication comes in capsule form and
is taken taken 1 to 3 hours before chemotherapy and then every 2 to 4 hours after chemotherapy,
for a total of 4 to 6 doses a day. When dronabinol is used to increase appetite,
it is usually taken twice daily, before lunch and supper, or once a day in the evening or
at bedtime. Do not chew, divide, or break dronabinol capsules.
Swallow dronabinol capsules whole. Common side effects of dronabinol include
dose related “high” (easy laughing and elevated mood), dizziness, confusion, and drowsiness. Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or
engage in hazardous activity until you know how dronabinol affects you.