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Generic Name: nabilone (NAB i lone)
Brand Names: Cesamet
Cesamet is man-made form of cannabis and is used to treat severe nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. Learn about side effects, interactions and indications.
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Drug Information:
Cesamet (nabilone) is a man-made form of cannabis (also known as marijuana). Cesamet is used to treat severe nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. It is for use only when other medications have been unable to control the nausea and vomiting. Cesamet may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. Cesamet may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Cesamet should never be given to another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or habitual marijuana use. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. Do not use nabilone if you have ever had an allergic reaction to natural or man-made marijuana. Learn more

Cesamet Side Effects

Cesamet Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about nabilone. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Cesamet.

In Summary

Common side effects of Cesamet include: ataxia, drowsiness, euphoria, vertigo, lack of concentration, and xerostomia. Other side effects include: dysphoria, and headache. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to nabilone: oral capsule

Along with its needed effects, nabilone (the active ingredient contained in Cesamet) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking nabilone:

  • Changes in mood
  • confusion
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • delusions
  • dizziness or fainting
  • fast or pounding heartbeat
  • hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there)
  • mental depression
  • nervousness or anxiety
  • unusual tiredness or weakness (severe)

Symptoms of overdose

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there)
  • mental changes (severe)
  • nervousness or anxiety (severe)

Some side effects of nabilone may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • drowsiness
  • dryness of mouth
  • false sense of well-being
  • headache

Less common or rare

  • Blurred vision or any changes in vision
  • dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when getting up from a lying or sitting position—more common with high doses
  • loss of appetite

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to nabilone: oral capsule

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Drowsiness (up to 66%), vertigo/dizziness (up to 59%), ataxia (up to 14%), concentration difficulties (up to 12%)

Common (1% to 10%): Headache, sedation

Frequency not reported: Syncope, cerebral vascular accident, equilibrium dysfunction, paresthesia, tremor, memory disturbance, perception disturbance, convulsions, dystonia, numbness, akathisia, speech disorder, hyperactivity, lightheadedness, coordination disturbance, taste change, nervousness, unconsciousness, hypotonia

Postmarketing reports: CNS depression, CNS stimulation, stupor


Very common (10% or more): Euphoria (up to 38%), depression (up to 14%), sleep disturbance (up to 11%)

Common (1% to 10%): Dysphoria, disorientation, depersonalization syndrome

Frequency not reported: Hallucinations, confusion, anxiety, abnormal dreams, insomnia, mood swings, inebriated feeling, psychosis, paranoia, apathy, thought disorder, withdrawal, panic disorder, phobic neurosis, emotional disorder

Postmarketing reports: Emotional lability


Common (1% to 10%): Dry mouth (up to 36%)

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Nausea

Frequency not reported: Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, aphthous ulcer, mouth irritation, gastritis, dyspepsia, thick tongue


Very common (10% or more): Visual disturbance (up to 13%)

Frequency not reported: Eye irritation, eye dryness, eye disorder, amblyopia, eye swelling, eyelid disease, pupil dilation, photophobia, visual field defect


Common (1% to 10%): Hypotension

Frequency not reported: Orthostatic hypotension, tachycardia, palpitation, hypertension, arrhythmia, elevated supine and standing heart rates


Common (1% to 10%): Asthenia

Frequency not reported: Ear tightness, tinnitus, flushing, hot flashes, bacterial infection, unspecified pain, chest pain, fatigue, chills, malaise, irritability, fever, inhibited walking, face edema, lack of effect


Frequency not reported: Anemia

Postmarketing reports: Leukopenia


Frequency not reported: Muscle pain, back pain, neck pain, joint pain, twitches


Frequency not reported: Increased urination, decreased urination, urinary retention, micturition frequency, impaired urination


Common (1% to 10%): Anorexia, increased appetite

Frequency not reported: Thirst


Frequency not reported: Dyspnea, pharyngitis, nasal congestion, sinus headache, dry throat, dry nose, sneezing, nosebleed, cough, voice change


Frequency not reported: Anhidrosis, photosensitivity, pruritus, rash, allergic reactions, excessive sweating

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Cesamet