Nabilone Capsules

Nabilone treats nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatment. This medication comes as a capsule that you can take by mouth with a glass of water as directed. Take each dose at regular intervals. The brand name of nabilone is Cesamet®.

What is this medication?

NABILONE (NAB i lone) prevents and treats nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. It is prescribed when other medications have not worked or cannot be tolerated. It works by blocking substances in your body that may cause nausea and vomiting. It belongs to a group of medications called antiemetics.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Cesamet

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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Frequently drink alcohol
  • Heart disease
  • High or low blood pressure
  • History of irregular heartbeat
  • History of substance use disorder
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Mental health condition
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to nabilone, dronabinol, marijuana, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medication more often than directed.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.

Patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

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What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medication?

Do not take this medication with any of the following:

  • Dronabinol

This medication may also interact with the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Amphetamines and other stimulant medications for attention disorders, weight loss, or to stay awake
  • Antihistamines for allergy, cough and cold
  • Atropine
  • Buspirone
  • Cannabidiol
  • Certain medications for bladder problems, such as oxybutynin, tolterodine
  • Certain medications for Parkinson's disease, such as benztropine, trihexyphenidyl
  • Certain medications for seizures, such as phenobarbital, primidone
  • Certain medications for sleep or anxiety
  • Certain medications for travel sickness, such as scopolamine
  • Cocaine
  • Disulfiram
  • Lithium
  • Medications for depression, such as amitriptyline, fluoxetine
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Naltrexone
  • Opioid medications for pain
  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Theophylline

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

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What should I watch for while using this medication?

Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Tell your care team if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.

While you are taking this medication, make sure there is a responsible person nearby. You may experience mood changes, easy laughter, or other changes in behavior. These effects can last for 48 to 72 hours following your last dose of this medication.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness while taking this medication. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you have low blood pressure or if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medication. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Do not smoke marijuana while you are taking this medication. This medication is similar to one of the active substances found in marijuana. You are at increased risk of serious heart and/or nervous system side effects if these medications are used together.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure—dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, blurry vision
  • Mood and behavior changes—anxiety, nervousness, confusion, hallucinations, irritability, hostility, thoughts of suicide or self-harm, worsening mood, feelings of depression

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Extreme feeling of happiness or joy, intense excitement
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Trouble sleeping

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children and pets. This medication can be abused. Keep this medication in a safe place to protect it from theft. Do not share this medication with anyone. Selling or giving away this medication is dangerous and is against the law.

This medication may cause accidental overdose and death if taken by other adults, children, or pets. Mix any unused medication with a substance like cat litter or coffee grounds. Then throw the medication away in a sealed container like a sealed bag or a coffee can with a lid. Do not use the medication after the expiration date.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F).

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Copyright ©2024 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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