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Dronabinol use while Breastfeeding

Drugs containing Dronabinol: Marinol, Syndros

Dronabinol Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding

Summary of Use during Lactation

Dronabinol (tetrahydrocannabinol; THC) is a major active component of cannabis. As a pharmaceutical product, it has not been studied during breastfeeding, but limited data from marijuana smokers indicate that it is likely excreted into breastmilk and found in the urine of breastfed infants.[1] Concern has been expressed regarding marijuana's possible effects on neurotransmitters, nervous system development and endocannabinoid-related functions.[2][3] Studies in marijuana smokers have had contradictory findings. One long-term study found that daily or near daily use might retard the breastfed infant's motor development, but not growth or intellectual development.[4] This and another study[5] found that occasional maternal marijuana use during breastfeeding did not have any discernable effects on breastfed infants, but the studies were inadequate to rule out all long-term harm.

Because there is no published experience with dronabinol use as an antiemetic during breastfeeding, an alternate drug may be preferred, especially while nursing a newborn or preterm infant.

Drug Levels

Maternal Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects in Breastfed Infants

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Alternate Drugs to Consider

Meclizine, Metoclopramide, Prochlorperazine, Thiethylperazine


1. Perez-Reyes M, Wall ME. Presence of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in human milk. N Engl J Med. 1982;307:819-20. Letter. PMID: 6287261

2. Schuel H, Burkman LJ, Lippes J et al. N-acylethanolamines in human reproductive fluids. Chem Phys Lipids. 2002;121:211-27. PMID: 12505702

3. Fernandez-Ruiz J, Gomez M, Hernandez M et al. Cannabinoids and gene expression during brain development. Neurotox Res. 2004;6:389-401. PMID: 15545023

4. Astley SJ, Little RE. Maternal marijuana use during lactation and infant development at one year. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 1990;12:161-8. PMID: 2333069

5. Tennes K, Avitable N, Blackard C et al. Marijuana: prenatal and postnatal exposure in the human. NIDA Res Monogr. 1985;59:48-60. PMID: 3929132

Dronabinol Identification

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Administrative Information

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Last Revision Date



Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. The U.S. government does not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.

Further information

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