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Nabilone Side Effects

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of nabilone 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 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[Ref]


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[Ref]


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[Ref]


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[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hypotension

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


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[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Anemia

Postmarketing reports: Leukopenia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Muscle pain, back pain, neck pain, joint pain, twitches[Ref]


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


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

Frequency not reported: Thirst[Ref]


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


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


1. "Product Information. Cesamet (nabilone)." Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Costa Mesa, CA.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.