Medical Marijuana - Dronabinol - 2-26-11

Marinol and Dronabinol

(Dronabinol) "Dronabinol (?-9-tetrahydrocannabinol [THC]) is an alternative treatment for nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. THC is the principal psychoactive component of marijuana. Its mechanism of antiemetic action is unknown, but cannabinoids bind to opioid receptors in the forebrain and may indirectly inhibit the vomiting center. Dronabinol is administered in doses of 5 mg/m2 po 1 to 3 h before chemotherapy, with repeated doses q 2 to 4 h after the start of chemotherapy (maximum of 4 to 6 doses/day). However, it has variable oral bioavailability, is not effective for inhibiting the nausea and vomiting of platinum-based chemotherapy regimens, and has significant adverse effects (eg, drowsiness, orthostatic hypotension, dry mouth, mood changes, visual and time sense alterations). Smoking marijuana may be more effective. Marijuana for this purpose can be obtained legally in some states. It is used less commonly because of barriers to availability and because many patients cannot tolerate smoking."
1. "Dronabinol, the active ingredient in MARINOL® (dronabinol) Capsules, is synthetic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC). Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is also a naturally occurring component of Cannabis sativa L. (Marijuana)."
2. "Dronabinol is a name of a particular isomer of a class of chemicals known as tetrahydrocannabinols (THC). Specifically, dronabinol is the United States Adopted Name (USAN) for the (-)-isomer of [Delta]\9\-(trans)- tetrahydrocannabinol [(-)-[Delta]\9\-(trans)-THC], which is believed to be the major psychoactive component of the cannabis plant (marijuana)."
3. "A United States Adopted Name (USAN) is the "US generic name for any compound to be used as a drug."
4. Dronabinol is the generic name for THC or tetrahydrocannabinol.


Chabner, Bruce A. and Thompson, Elizabeth Chabner, "Management of Adverse Effects," The Merck Manual (Whitehouse Station, N.J: Merck & Co. Inc., July 2009), Section: Hematology and Oncology, Chapter: Management of Adverse Effects, Nausea and Vomiting.
"MARINOL® (dronabinol) Capsules," (Abbott Laboratories: Abbott Park, IL, July 2006), pp. 11.
Federal Register, "Listing of Approved Drug Products Containing Dronabinol in Schedule III," Vol. 75, No. 210, Monday, November 1, 2010, pp. 67054 to 67059.
"United States Adopted Name," The Bantam medical dictionary, p. 685.