"Nov. 29, 2012 (Chicago) -- For cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy who have found their complaints of general mental fogginess and haziness dismissed by their doctors as not being a real medical condition, vindication has arrived.
Signs and Symptoms - Signs and symptoms of overdosage are an extension of the psychotomimetic and physiologic effects of Cesamet (nabilone capsules) .
Treatment - To obtain up-to-date information about the treatment of overdose, a good resource is your certified Regional Poison Control Center. Telephone numbers of certified poison control centers are listed in the Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR). In managing overdosage, consider the possibility of multiple drug overdoses, interaction among drugs, and unusual drug kinetics in your patient.
Overdosage may be considered to have occurred, even at prescribed dosages, if disturbing psychiatric symptoms are present. In these cases, the patient should be observed in a quiet environment and supportive measures, including reassurance, should be used. Subsequent doses should be withheld until patients have returned to their baseline mental status; routine dosing may then be resumed if clinically indicated. In such instances, a lower initiating dose is suggested. In controlled clinical trials, alterations in mental status related to the use of Cesamet (nabilone capsules) resolved within 72 hours without specific medical therapy.
No cases of overdosage with more than 10 mg/day of nabilone were reported during clinical trials. Signs and symptoms that would be expected to occur in large overdose situations are psychotic episodes, including hallucinations, anxiety reactions, respiratory depression, and coma.
If psychotic episodes occur, the patient should be managed conservatively, if possible. For moderate psychotic episodes and anxiety reactions, verbal support and comforting may be sufficient. In more severe cases, antipsychotic drugs may be useful; however, the utility of antipsychotic drugs in cannabinoid psychosis has not been systematically evaluated. Support for their use is drawn from limited experience using antipsychotic agents to manage cannabis overdoses. Because of the potential for drug-drug interactions (e.g., additive CNS depressant effects due to nabilone and chlorpromazine), such patients should be closely monitored.
Protect the patient's airway and support ventilation and perfusion. Meticulously monitor and maintain, within acceptable limits, the patient's vital signs, blood gases, serum electrolytes, as well as other laboratory values and physical assessments. Absorption of drugs from the gastrointestinal tract may be decreased by giving activated charcoal, which, in many cases, is more effective than emesis or lavage; consider charcoal instead of or in addition to gastric emptying. Repeated doses of charcoal over time may hasten elimination of some drugs that have been absorbed. Safeguard the patient's airway when employing gastric emptying or charcoal.
The use of forced diuresis, peritoneal dialysis, hemodialysis, charcoal hemoperfusion, or cholestyramine has not been reported. In the presence of normal renal function, most of a dose of nabilone is eliminated through the biliary system.
Treatment for respiratory depression and comatose state consists in symptomatic and supportive therapy. Particular attention should be paid to the occurrence of hypothermia. If the patient becomes hypotensive, consider fluids, inotropes, and/or vasopressors.
Cesamet (nabilone capsules) is contraindicated in any patient who has a history of hypersensitivity to any cannabinoid.
Last reviewed on RxList: 2/26/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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