Skip to Content

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

As well as its needed effects, nabilone may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

Severity: Moderate

If any of the following side effects occur while taking nabilone, check with your doctor or nurse as soon as possible:

  • 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)

Minor Side Effects

Some nabilone side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned 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.

It is possible that some side effects of nabilone may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.