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Common Side Effects

Dronabinol has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, one group of people received the real medication, while another group was given a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients). As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the placebo.
In these studies, the most common reactions to dronabinol included:
  • A "high" (easily laughing, feeling elated, and having heightened awareness) -- in up 24 percent of people
  • Stomach problems, including nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain (stomach pain) -- up to 3 to 10 percent
  • Drowsiness -- up to 10 percent
  • Dizziness -- up to 10 percent
  • Euphoria (an unusual pleasant feeling) -- up to 10 percent
  • Feeling paranoid -- up to 10 percent
  • Abnormal thinking -- up to 10 percent.
Other common side effects (occurring in 1 to 3 percent of people) included:
  • Muscle weakness
  • Feelings of a rapidly or forcefully beating heart (heart palpitations)
  • Increased heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Facial flushing
  • Memory problems, forgetfulness, or confusion
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that aren't there)
  • Unsteadiness or incoordination
  • Feeling disconnected or detached from one's body or thoughts (depersonalization).

Final Thoughts

You may experience some or none of the side effects listed in this article. Unfortunately, there is no way for your healthcare provider to know beforehand if you will have problems with a medicine that you have never tried.
Therefore, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you develop any side effects while taking dronabinol or if you develop something that "just does not seem right." While it may not be related to the medication, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
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