A healthcare provider may recommend the use of Marinol when other treatments are not effective in relieving chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. This medication is also designed to stimulate the appetite in people who have associated weight loss due to AIDS. Marinol is believed to work by stimulating certain receptors in the central nervous system, although its exact effects are still unknown.
What Is Marinol Used For?Marinol® (dronabinol) is a prescription medication used for the following uses:
- Appetite loss (known medically as anorexia) associated with weight loss in people with AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome)
- Nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy, when other treatments have not worked.
Using Marinol for AIDS-Related AnorexiaAIDS is a disease caused by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). HIV weakens the body's immune system by killing cells that normally fight off infections. AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection. People with this condition have severely damaged immune systems, putting them at risk for opportunistic infections (diseases that would ordinarily not make a person sick).
People with AIDS also often suffer from severe anorexia, or an inability to eat (this is different from anorexia nervosa, the well-known eating disorder). This results in weight loss, further increasing the risk for opportunistic infections and death. Marinol is approved to increase appetite in people with AIDS with anorexia and weight loss.