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Dronabinol as a Treatment for Anorexia Associated With Weight Loss in Patients

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Beal JE, Olson R, Laubenstein L, Morales JO, Bellman P, Yangco B, Lefkowitz L, Plasse TF, Shepard KV


Abstract

The effects of dronabinol on appetite and weight were evaluated in 139 patients with AIDS-related anorexia and > or = 2.3 kg weight loss in a multi-institutional study. Patients were randomized to receive 2.5 mg dronabinol twice daily or placebo. Patients rated appetite, mood, and nausea by using a 100-mm visual analogue scale 3 days weekly. Efficacy was evaluable in 88 patients. Dronabinol was associated with increased appetite above baseline (38% vs 8% for placebo, P = 0.015), improvement in mood (10% vs -2%, P = 0.06), and decreased nausea (20% vs 7%; P = 0.05). Weight was stable in dronabinol patients, while placebo recipients had a mean loss of 0.4 kg (P = 0.14). Of the dronabinol patients, 22% gained > or = 2 kg, compared with 10.5% of placebo recipients (P = 0.11). Side effects were mostly mild to moderate in severity (euphoria, dizziness, thinking abnormalities); there was no difference in discontinued therapy between dronabinol (8.3%) and placebo (4.5%) recipients. Dronabinol was found to be safe and effective for anorexia associated with weight loss in patients with AIDS.


Source: Dronabinol as a treatment for anorexia associated with weight loss in patients with AIDS
 
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