Common Brand Name(s): Cesamet
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
This medication 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 (cannabis). It is works by decreasing the signals in the brain that lead to nausea and vomiting.
How To Use
See also Side Effects section.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking nabilone and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
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.
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 of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
- 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
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:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking nabilone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to marijuana (cannabis) 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 (cannabis) 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 (cannabis).
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.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness including alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), 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.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: fast heartbeat, severe dizziness, hallucinations, anxiety, difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised October 2018.
Copyright(c) 2018 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.