AIDS Home > Dronabinol

Dronabinol is commonly used in the treatment of appetite loss in people who have AIDS. It can also be used to treat chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting when other options have failed. This medication comes in capsule form, and is taken anywhere from two to six times a day. Commonly reported side effects include feeling "high," drowsiness, and stomach problems.

What Is Dronabinol?

Dronabinol (Marinol®) is a prescription medication licensed to treat loss of appetite associated with weight loss in people with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). It is also approved to treat nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy when other medications have not worked.
(Click What Is Dronabinol Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any medicine, dronabinol can cause side effects. Some of the more common side effects seen with this drug include but are not limited to:
  • A sense of euphoria, or feeling "high"
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Feelings of paranoia.
Higher doses are associated with more side effects. Dronabinol can cause changes in mood and other undesired behavioral problems. When you first begin using it, or when your dose is changed, you should be under the care of a responsible adult because of the potential for these side effects. You should also not drive, operate machinery, or do anything that might be dangerous until you know you can do these things safely.
If you do have problems, your healthcare provider can adjust your dose of dronabinol to try and reduce them.
(Click Side Effects of Dronabinol to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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