Use of Dronabinol Improves Appetite and Reverses Weight Loss in HIV/AIDS-Infected Patients

J Int Assoc Physicians AIDS Care (Chic). 2007 Jun;6(2):95-100. doi: 10.1177/1545109707300157.


Objective: To determine whether dronabinol affects appetite and weight status in patients living with HIV/AIDS.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted to analyze weight and appetite changes and nausea status in patients with HIV/AIDS who received dronabinol for 3 to 12 months from January 11, 1993, to March 17, 2003.

Results: Of the 117 patients who lost weight before baseline, 63% maintained or gained weight. In patients receiving dronabinol for 1 year, the mean weight gain (+/- SD) was 3.7 +/- 10.6 lb. The percentage of patients experiencing loss of appetite decreased significantly from 71% at baseline to 26% at 1 month (P < .001) and continued to decline throughout the trial. The percentage of patients experiencing nausea at baseline (38%) decreased consistently from week 2 on; this change from baseline was significant at month 6 (P = .031).

Conclusion: When taken for 3 months to 1 year, dronabinol significantly improves appetite and reverses weight loss in patients living with HIV/AIDS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Appetite*
  • Body Weight
  • Dronabinol*
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Weight Loss


  • Dronabinol