Marinol

Generic Name: Dronabinol

  • What is Marinol?

    Marinol is used as an appetite stimulant to treat weight loss in patients with AIDS. Marinol is also used to treat nausea and vomiting that follow chemotherapy in patients who have failed to respond adequately to other antinausea treatments.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Marinol?

    Marinol should be used with caution in the elderly and those with high blood pressure or heart disease. Marinol should also be used with caution in patients with psychiatric disorders (including bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia); disease symptoms may return with the use of this drug.

    You may experience changes in mood or have other effects when first taking Marinol. Be sure that there is a responsible person nearby when you first take Marinol or when there is an adjustment in your dose.

    Taking Marinol for long periods of time may cause dependence or addiction. If you stop taking Marinol suddenly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, which include irritability, trouble sleeping, restlessness, "hot flashes," sweating, runny nose, loose stools, hiccups, and loss of appetite.

  • Who should not take Marinol?

    You should not take Marinol if you are allergic to cannabinoids or sesame oil.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Marinol?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Marinol. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have a history of heart disease; cardiac disorders because of occasional low blood pressure, high blood pressure, fainting, or a fast heartbeat; drug abuse; alcohol abuse; mental health problems (mania, depression, schizophrenia); seizure disorder and/or seizure-like activity; drug allergies; or if you are pregnant, nursing, or becoming pregnant.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Appetite Stimulation

    Adults: The initial dose of Marinol capsules is 2.5 milligrams (mg) two times a day, before lunch and dinner. Patients who cannot tolerate this dose may take 2.5 mg given as a single dose in the evening or at bedtime. The maximum daily dose is 20 mg given in divided doses.

    Nausea and Vomiting Following Chemotherapy

    Adults: Your doctor will prescribe the proper dosage based on your weight. You will usually receive Marinol 4-6 times a day, every 2-4 hours.

  • How should I take Marinol?

    Take Marinol by mouth as prescribed by your doctor.

  • What should I avoid while taking Marinol?

    Avoid potentially hazardous activities, such as driving or operating machinery while taking Marinol until you know how this drug affects you.

    If you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, Marinol may not be an appropriate therapy for you. Do not take Marinol with alcohol, sedatives, or sleep medicines, or other drugs that affect your central nervous system.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Marinol?

    If Marinol is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Marinol with the following: alcohol, amitriptyline, amoxapine, amphetamines, antipyrine, antihistamines, atropine, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, buspirone, cocaine, desipramine, disulfiram, fluoxetine, lithium, muscle relaxants, opioids, theophylline, or scopolamine.

  • What are the possible side effects of Marinol?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: cannabinoid dose-related "high" (easy laughing, elation, and heightened awareness), abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, euphoria, paranoid reaction, somnolence, thinking abnormally

  • Can I receive Marinol if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Marinol during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Marinol?

    If you miss a dose of Marinol, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Marinol?

    Store Marinol in a tightly closed container in a cool place or in the refrigerator. Protect from freezing.

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