Nabilone capsules

Nabilone is used to treat sickness caused by cancer treatments.

If you notice any changes in your mood or behaviour, speak with your doctor as soon as possible for advice.

Side-effects such as feeling sleepy and dizzy are common. They may last for several days after your last dose.

About nabilone

Type of medicine Anti-emetic (anti-sickness)
Used for Treatment of feeling and being sick
Available as Capsules

Nabilone is a man-made cannabinoid. You will have been prescribed it to treat nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting (being sick) caused by your anticancer medicines. It is often prescribed when other anti-sickness medicines have not been effective, usually by a hospital doctor.

Before taking nabilone

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking nabilone it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • If you have heart or liver problems.
  • If you have high blood pressure.
  • If you have ever been diagnosed with a mental health problem - for example, depression or schizophrenia.
  • If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.

How to take nabilone

  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about nabilone and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Swallow the capsules with a drink of water. It is likely that you will be prescribed one (1 mg) capsule twice daily throughout each cycle of your chemotherapy and for up to two days afterwards. You may be advised to take your first dose the night before you start chemotherapy and then another dose one to three hours before your treatment begins. If it is needed, your doctor may increase your dose to two capsules two or three times a day. Take the capsules exactly as your doctor tells you to.
  • Try to take nabilone at the same times each day, as this will help you to avoid missing any doses. If you do miss a dose, wait until it is time for your next dose, take this when it is due and then continue as before. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • Do not drink alcohol while you are on nabilone.
  • If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
  • If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.

Can nabilone cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. Some of the side-effects listed below may last for two or three days after you've stopped taking nabilone.

Common nabilone side-effects What can I do if I experience this?
Feeling drowsy or sleepy Do not drive or use tools or machines. Do not drink alcohol
Feeling dizzy (possibly caused by low blood pressure) Get up and move more slowly than normal. If you begin to feel dizzy, sit or lie down until you feel better
High moods, poor co-ordination, eyesight problems, difficulties concentrating, difficulties sleeping Speak with your doctor if any of these become troublesome
Dry mouth Try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free sweets
Headache Speak with your doctor about this

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

How to store nabilone

  • Keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.