Nabilone

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Generic Name: Nabilone Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available. Avability: Rx Pregnancy Category: C

Uses

What is Nabilone used for?

Nabilone is used to treat severe nausea and vomiting caused by cancer drug treatment (chemotherapy). Nabilone is a man-made drug similar to the natural substances found in marijuana. It is works by decreasing the signals in the brain that lead to nausea and vomiting.

How should I take Nabilone?

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 2 to 3 times a day. The first dose may be taken the night before chemotherapy treatment. On the day you start chemotherapy, take nabilone 1 to 3 hours before chemotherapy begins. Continue to take this medication as directed by your doctor throughout your chemotherapy treatment cycle. Your doctor may also direct you to continue taking this medication until 24 to 48 hours after your treatment cycle ends. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

Use this medication regularly throughout your treatment cycle to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. This medication should not be taken on an “as needed” basis.

Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.

If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as irritability, trouble sleeping, sweating, and diarrhea). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used nabilone for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal.

Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse.

How do I store Nabilone?

Nabilone is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Nabilone in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Nabilone that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Nabilone down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Nabilone?

Before taking nabilone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to marijuana or related products; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, mental/mood conditions (such as mania, depression, schizophrenia), personal or family history of a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol).

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially mental/mood changes.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness, lightheadedness, and mental/mood changes.

This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Consult your doctor for more details.

It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. However, similar drugs pass into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Nabilone during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Nabilone. Nabilone is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Nabilone?

Dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, feeling “high,” an exaggerated sense of well-being (euphoria), lightheadedness, headache, trouble sleeping, or memory problems may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

People using this medication may have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this drug because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk ofside effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fainting, unusual weakness, vision changes, mental/mood changes (such as depression, anxiety, panic, paranoia, hallucinations, psychosis).

Because nabilone can cause mental, mood, or behavior changes, a responsible caretaker should closely supervise you while you are taking this medication. If you have any such effects, remain calm and tell your doctor right away. Do not take any more nabilone until after you consult with your doctor.

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: fast heartbeat, seizures.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Nabilone?

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness including alcohol, marijuana, antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), and narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone).

Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.

Nabilone may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Nabilone?

Nabilone may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Nabilone?

Nabilone may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Nabilone.

What is the dose of Nabilone for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Nausea/Vomiting – Chemotherapy Induced

Recommended Dose:

-1 mg or 2 mg orally 2 times a day

Initial Dose:

-The dose should be given 1 to 3 hours before the first dose of the chemotherapeutic agent is administered.

-The lower starting dose should be used to minimize side effects; the dose can be increased as necessary.

Maintenance Dose:

-This drug may be given 2 or 3 times a day during the entire course of each cycle of chemotherapy and, if needed, for 48 hours after the last dose of each cycle.

Maximum Dose:

-2 mg orally 3 times a day

Comments:

-A dose of 1 mg or 2 mg orally the night before each cycle of chemotherapy may be useful.

-This drug is not intended to be used on an as-needed basis or as a first-line antiemetic.

Use: Treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conventional antiemetic treatments.

Dose Adjustments

If Disturbing Psychiatric Symptoms Occur:

-Withhold subsequent doses until patient has returned to baseline mental status, then resume routine dosing (with a lower initiating dose) if clinically indicated.

Other Comments

General:

-Prescriptions for this drug should be limited to the amount necessary for a single cycle of chemotherapy (i.e., a few days).

-Cross-tolerance between this drug and delta-9-THC (marijuana) has been demonstrated in animal studies.

-Overdosage: Activated charcoal is often more effective than emesis or lavage in decreasing absorption of drugs from the GI tract; consider charcoal instead of or in addition to gastric emptying and protect the patient’s airway during this process. General supportive care and monitoring of vital signs is also recommended. The use of forced diuresis, peritoneal dialysis, hemodialysis, charcoal hemoperfusion, and cholestyramine has not been reported.

-The estimated oral median lethal dose in female mice: between 1,000 to 2,000 mg/kg; in the female rat: greater than 2,000 mg/kg.

What is the dose of Nabilone for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Nabilone available?

Nabilone is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Oral capsule.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Nabilone, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: August 10, 2018 | Last Modified: August 10, 2018

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