Table of contents

  • Brand Names
  • Chemistry
  • Pharmacologic Category
  • Mechanism of Action
  • Therapeutic Use
  • Unlabeled Use
  • Pregnancy and Lactation Implications
  • Contraindications
  • Warnings and Precautions
  • Adverse Reactions
  • Caution and personalized dose adjustment in patients with the following genotypes
  • Substrate of
  • Drug Interactions
  • Nutrition/Nutraceutical Interactions
  • Dosage
  • Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
  • Special Considerations

Brand Names

North America

Canada: Marinol; USA: Dronabinol, Marinol.

Drug combinations


Dronabinol: C~21~H~30~O~2~. Mw: 314.46. (1) 6H-Dibenzo[b,d]pyran-1-ol, 6a,7,8,10a-tetrahydro-6,6,9-trimethyl-3-pentyl-, (6aR-trans)-; (2)(6aR,10aR)-6a,7,8,10a-Tetrahydro-6,6,9-trimethyl-3-pentyl-6H-dibenzo[b,d]pyran-1-ol. CAS-1972-08-3 (1984).

Pharmacologic Category

Antiemetics, Miscellaneous. Appetite Stimulant. (ATC-Code: A04AD10).

Mechanism of action

Dronabinol, a synthetic cannabinoid, is an antiemetic and appetite stimulant. The active ingredient in dronabinol capsules is synthetic Δ^9^-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ^9^-THC); Δ^9^-THC is also a naturally-occurring component of Cannabis sativa L. May inhibit endorphins in the emetic center of the brain, suppress prostaglandin synthesis, and/or inhibit medullary activity through an unspecified cortical action. Sympathimometic activity. Antiemetic activity may be due to its effect on cannabinoid receptors (CB~1~) within the CNS.

Therapeutic use

Treatment of AIDS-related anorexia (designated an orphan drug by the FDA for use in this condition). Chemotherapy-associated nausea and vomiting refractory to other conventional antiemetic therapy.

Pregnancy and lactiation implications

Avoid use in nursing women.

Unlabeled use

Cancer-related anorexia.


Hypersensitivity to dronabinol, cannabinoids, sesame oil, any component of the formulation, or marihuana. Avoid use in history of schizophrenia.

Warnings and precautions

Adverse CNS effects (e.g. a feeling of being «high», and somnolence) reported. Occasional hypotension, possible hypertension, syncope, or tachycardia may occur. Use with caution in cardiac disease. Seizures and seizure-like activity reported (may lower seizure threshold). Use with caution in history of seizure. Use with caution in history of substance abuse, including alcohol abuse or dependence. May exacerbate mania, depression, or schizophrenia. Use with caution in hepatic impairment. Use with caution in children for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting due to psychoactive effects and lack of clinical experience. Avoid use in pediatric patients with AIDS-related anorexia. Use with caution in geriatric patients (may cause postural hypotension). May cause withdrawal symptoms upon abrupt discontinuation.



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