What is it?
Cannabis is an herbal medicine used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy medicine. It is also used to decrease eye pressure, decrease pain, and to improve the appetite. Other uses for cannabis may include headaches, anxiety, asthma, Tourette syndrome, and to relax muscles.
Other names for cannabis include: Cannabis sativa, Hashish, Hemp, and Marijuana.
Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.
Tell your doctor if you .
- are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
- are breastfeeding
- have liver disease, history of mental illness, or a seizure disorder
- have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease
Talk with your caregiver about how much cannabis you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking cannabis. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.
- Cannabis is a controlled substance and an illegal street drug in most areas. Ask your doctor for the correct dose.
To store this medicine:
Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.
Drug and Food Interactions:
Do not take Cannabis without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:
- Antiviral medicine for HIV and AIDS (protease inhibitors, examples: amprenavir (Agenerase(R)), indinavir (Crixivan(R)), nelfinavir (Viracept(R)), ritonavir (Norvir(R)), saquinavir (Invirase(R))) (22-27)
- Cocaine (16,17)
- Disulfiram (Antabuse(R)) (2)
- Medicine for depression (examples: amitriptyline (Amitril(R), Elavil(R)); clomipramine (Anafranil(R)); citalopram (Celexa(R)); desipramine (Norpramin(R)); doxepin (Sinequan(R)); fluvoxamine (Luvox(R)); imipramine (Tofranil(R)); nortriptyline (Aventyl(R), Pamelor(R)); paroxetine (Paxil(R)); protriptyline (Vivactil(R)); trimipramine (Surmontil(R)); sertraline (Zoloft(R))) (1,29,30,40,41)
- Medicine used for sleep, headache, seizures, or muscle relaxants (examples: amobarbital (Amytal (R)); aprobarbital (Alurate(R)); butabarbital (Butalan(R)); butalbital (Amaphen(R), Esgic(R), Fioricet(R), Fiorinal(R), Fiortal(R), Phrenilin(R), Sedapap(R)); fluoxetine (Prozac(R)); mephobarbital (Mebaral(R)); methohexital (Brevital(R) Sodium); pentobarbital (Nembutal(R)); phenobarbital (Barbita(R), Luminal(R)); secobarbital (Seconal(R)); thiopental (Pentothal(R) Sodium))) (3)
- Sildenafil (Viagra(R)) (15)
- Theophylline (Quibron-T(R), Theobid(R), Uniphyl(R)) (39)
- Blood thinning medicines (example: warfarin (Coumadin(R)) (42)
- Before taking cannabis, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Cannabis should be carefully used if you have abused drugs or have a history of mental illness
- Cannabis should be carefully used if you have heart or blood vessel disease
- Older people taking cannabis may be more likely to have mood changes than younger people
- You should not drive, operate machinery, or take part in any activity that may cause you to be harmed if you use cannabis
- Non-pharmaceutical cannabis may be contaminated with the fungus Aspergillus, which can be harmful to people with immune system problems
- Do not drink alcohol and use cannabis
Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hand, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash.
- Change in mood, depression, or hallucinations (seeing things that are not really there) (34-36)
- Irregular heartbeat (31-33)
- Blood in your vomit, nosebleed, or unusual bleeding (42)
Other Side Effects:
You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.
- Blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness and sleepiness, loss of coordination (34,37,38)
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34. Product Information: Marinol(R), dronabinol. Roxane Laboratories, Columbus, OH, 1999.
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Last Updated: 1/4/2011