Dronabinol and marijuana in HIV-positive marijuana smokers - Caloric intake, mood, and sleep

Department of Psychology, Columbia University, New York, New York, United States
JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (Impact Factor: 4.39). 09/2007; 45(5):545-54. DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e31811ed205
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Individuals with HIV constitute the largest group using cannabinoids for medicinal reasons; yet, no studies have directly compared the tolerability and efficacy of smoked marijuana and oral dronabinol maintenance in HIV-positive marijuana smokers. This placebo-controlled within-subjects study evaluated marijuana and dronabinol across a range of behaviors: eating topography, mood, cognitive performance, physiologic measures, and sleep.
HIV-positive marijuana smokers (n = 10) completed 2 16-day inpatient phases. Each dronabinol (5 and 10 mg) and marijuana (2.0% and 3.9% Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol [THC]) dose was administered 4 times daily for 4 days, but only 1 drug was active per day, thereby maintaining double-blind dosing. Four days of placebo washout separated each active cannabinoid condition.
As compared with placebo, marijuana and dronabinol dose dependently increased daily caloric intake and body weight in HIV-positive marijuana smokers. All cannabinoid conditions produced significant intoxication, except for low-dose dronabinol (5 mg); the intoxication was rated positively (eg, "good drug effect") with little evidence of discomfort and no impairment of cognitive performance. Effects of marijuana and dronabinol were comparable, except that only marijuana (3.9% THC) improved ratings of sleep.
These data suggest that for HIV-positive marijuana smokers, both dronabinol (at doses 8 times current recommendations) and marijuana were well tolerated and produced substantial and comparable increases in food intake.

Download full-text


Available from: Richard Foltin, Jun 22, 2015
1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although methamphetamine and alcohol are commonly used together in a binge-like pattern, there is a dearth of empirical data investigating the repeated effects of this drug combination. The current study examined acute and residual mood, performance, and physiological effects of methamphetamine alone, alcohol alone, and the combination. Nine adult male volunteers completed this 20-day within-participant, residential laboratory study. During four 5-day blocks of sessions, participants were administered oral methamphetamine (0, 10 mg) combined with alcohol (0, 0.375, 0.75 g/kg) three times (day 2: AM, day 2: PM, and day 3: PM). Breath alcohol concentrations, cardiovascular, subjective, and cognitive/psychomotor performance effects were assessed before drug administration and repeatedly thereafter. Subjective and objective sleep measures were also assessed; residual effects were assessed on days 3-5 of each block. Following the first drug administration, the methamphetamine-alcohol combination produced greater elevations of heart rate and ratings of "good drug effect" compared to either drug alone. Methamphetamine attenuated alcohol-related performance decrements and feelings of intoxication, whereas alcohol attenuated methamphetamine-related sleep disruptions. By the third administration, many of these effects were significantly diminished, suggesting that participants developed tolerance. Few residual effects were observed. These data show that methamphetamine combined with alcohol produced a profile of effects that was different from the effects of either drug alone. The largely positive effects of the drug combination (i.e., greater euphoria, and fewer performance and sleep disruptions) might explain why these drugs are often used in combination.
    Psychopharmacology 07/2011; 219(1):191-204. DOI:10.1007/s00213-011-2390-5 · 3.99 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Marijuana (MJ) use and HIV infection are both associated with neurocognitive deficits, yet there is little research to date examining their interactions, specifically how they pertain to procedural learning (PL). We examined a sample of 86 individuals with a history of dependence for multiple substances who underwent a comprehensive evaluation including measures of mental health, substance use history, and three measures of PL: the photoelectric Rotary Pursuit Task (RPT), the Star Mirror Tracing Task (SMT), and the Weather Prediction Task (WPT). We found that a positive HIV serostatus and a history of marijuana dependence were both independently associated with overall poorer performance on the SMT and RPT in this sample of individuals with a history of dependence for multiple substances. Rate of improvement across trial blocks did not differ as a function of HIV serostatus or history of marijuana dependence. Although we found no significant HIV × MJ interaction for any of the PL tasks, we did observe evidence of additive negative effects from HIV and a history of marijuana dependence on overall performance on the SMT and RPT, but not the WPT. The findings suggest that complex motor skills are adversely affected among abstinent polysubstance users with a history of marijuana dependence and that such deficits are compounded by HIV.
    Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 04/2011; 33(7):735-52. DOI:10.1080/13803395.2011.553584 · 2.16 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Dronabinol (Δ(9)tetrahydrocannabinol) is approved for HIV-related anorexia, yet, little is known about its effects in HIV-positive marijuana smokers. HIV-negative marijuana smokers require higher than recommended dronabinol doses to experience expected effects. Employing a within-subjects, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, we assessed the effects of repeated high-dose dronabinol in HIV-positive marijuana smokers taking antiretroviral medication. Participants (N = 7), who smoked marijuana 4.2 ± 2.3 days/week, resided in a residential laboratory for two 16-day stays, receiving dronabinol (10 mg QID) in one stay and placebo in the other. Efficacy was assessed with objectively verified food intake and body weight. Tolerability was measured with sleep, subjective, and cognitive assessments. For analyses, each inpatient stay was divided into two phases, days 1-8 and 9-16; we compared dronabinol's effects with placebo in each 8-day phase to investigate tolerance. Despite sustained increases in self-reported food cravings, dronabinol only increased caloric intake in the initial 8 days of dosing. Similarly, sleep quality was improved only in the first 8 days of dosing. Dronabinol's mood-enhancing effects were sustained across the 16-day inpatient stay. Dronabinol was well tolerated, causing few negative subjective or cognitive effects. In HIV-positive marijuana smokers, high dronabinol doses safely and effectively increased caloric intake. However, repeated high-dose dronabinol appeared to result in selective tolerance to these effects. These findings indicate that HIV-positive individuals who smoke marijuana may require higher dronabinol doses than are recommended by the FDA. Future research to establish optimal dosing regimens, and reduce the development of tolerance, is required.
    Psychopharmacology 12/2010; 212(4):675-86. DOI:10.1007/s00213-010-1995-4 · 3.99 Impact Factor