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Dronabinol Enhancement Of Appetite In Cancer Patients

Julie Gardener

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Dronabinol Enhancement Of Appetite In Cancer Patients.​
Wadleigh R, Spaulding GM, Lumbersky B, Zimmer M, Shepard K, Plasse T.
Proc Am Soc Oncology 1990


Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol has previously been noted to enhance appetite in healthy individuals and in cancer patients. To further study this phenomenon, an open, dose- ranging study was carried out in patients with unresectable cancer. After a baseline observation period, patients were treated with dronabinol (delta-9-THC in sesame oil, Marinol, Roxane Labs, Columbus, OH) for up to six weeks at doses of 2.5 mg qd (N=8), 2.5 mg bid (N=9) or 5 mg qd (N=13); patient accrual and dose escalation are still continuing. Patients were weighed weekly; they recorded appetite before each meal and their overall mood once daily 0n 10cm visual analog scales (VAS). Five patients discontinued dronabinol because of adverse effects, although some may have been related to other medications; three discontinued because of progressive desease. Patients in all groups continued to lose weight, although the rate of weight loss decreased with therapy at all doses. Symptomatic improvement was noted in both mood and appetite, with 2.5 mg qd being a no- effect dose. For patients on study at least three weeks, the following was seen:
Group 2.5 mg qd: N=6; Mean VAS Mode=-1.5; change, Appetite: -5.4; Mean decrease in weight loss, ib/wk=1.3.
Group 2.5 mg bid: N=7; Mean VAS Mode=10.8; change, Appetite: 18; Mean decrease in weight loss, ib/wk=0.6.
Group 5 mg qd: N=9; Mean VAS Mode=1.2; change, Appetite: 8.9; Mean decrease in weight loss, ib/wk=1.7
In this open, dose-ranging study, dronabinol appeared to stimulate both mood and appetite at well tolerated doses.

Source: Clinical Studies and Case Reports
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