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All about: Nabilone

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Generic Name: Nabilone Capsules (NAB-i-lone)
Brand Name: Cesamet

Nabilone is used for:

Treating nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy in patients who have not responded to other medicine.

Nabilone is a cannabinoid. It works by affecting the actions of certain chemicals in the brain.

Do NOT use Nabilone if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Nabilone or to other cannabinoids (eg, marijuana)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Nabilone :

Some medical conditions may interact with Nabilone . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of high or low blood pressure, heart disease, or fast heartbeat
  • if you have a history of liver or kidney problems
  • if you or a family member has a history of mental or mood problems (eg, bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia)
  • if you or a family member has a history of alcohol or other substance abuse or dependence
  • if you have a history of marijuana use

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Nabilone . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Amphetamines, anticholinergics (eg, atropine, scopolamine), antihistamines (eg, diphenhydramine), cocaine, sympathomimetics (eg, albuterol, pseudoephedrine), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because the risk of high blood pressure, heart problems (eg, fast heartbeat), or severe drowsiness may be increased
  • Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), benzodiazepines (eg, diazepam), buspirone, certain narcotic pain medicines (eg, morphine, codeine), lithium, muscle relaxants (eg, cyclobenzaprine), or phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine) because the risk of severe drowsiness may be increased
  • Disulfiram, fluoxetine, or naltrexone because the risk of mental or mood changes may be increased
  • Antipyrine because the risk of its side effects may be increased by Nabilone
  • Theophylline because its effectiveness may be decreased by Nabilone

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Nabilone may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Nabilone :

How to use Nabilone : Use Nabilone as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Nabilone by mouth with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose of Nabilone , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Nabilone .

Important safety information:

  • Nabilone may cause dizziness or drowsiness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Nabilone with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks while you are taking Nabilone .
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Nabilone ; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Nabilone may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use more often than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Nabilone may cause mental or mood changes (eg, feeling �high,� anxiety, confusion, depression, feeling disoriented, hallucinations). These effects may be more noticeable when you first start taking Nabilone or when your dose changes. Make sure you have a responsible adult who can help to care for you while you are taking Nabilone . This is especially important when you first start taking it or when your dose changes.
  • The mental side effects of Nabilone may last for up to 72 hours after you stop taking Nabilone .
  • Use Nabilone with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially mental changes or dizziness when sitting or standing up.
  • Nabilone should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 18 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if Nabilone can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Nabilone while you are pregnant. It is not known if Nabilone is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Nabilone .

Some people who use Nabilone for a long time may develop a need to continue taking it. People who take high doses are also at risk. This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction. If you stop taking Nabilone suddenly, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms. These may include anxiety, distress, hiccups, loose stools, runny nose, sweating, and trouble sleeping.

Possible side effects of Nabilone :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Change in appetite; confusion; decreased coordination; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; elevated or relaxed mood; headache; nausea; trouble concentrating; trouble sleeping; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); behavior or thinking changes; distorted sense of time; fast heartbeat; hallucinations; memory changes; mental or mood changes (eg, anxiety, depression, detachment, exaggerated feeling of well-being, feeling disoriented, panic, paranoia); severe or persistent dizziness; vision changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include coma; fast heartbeat; hallucinations; severe dizziness; severe mental or mood changes; trouble breathing.

Proper storage of Nabilone :

Store Nabilone at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Keep Nabilone out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Nabilone , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Nabilone is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Nabilone . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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