Haloperidol, a Novel Treatment for Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome

Am J Ther. Jan/Feb 2017;24(1):e64-e67. doi: 10.1097/MJT.0000000000000157.

Abstract

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is typically unresponsive to conventional pharmacologic antiemetics, and patients often require excessive laboratory and radiographic testing and hospital admission. We report 4 cases of CHS that failed standard emergency department therapy but improved significantly after treatment with haloperidol. Although the exact mechanism for CHS remains unclear, dysregulation at cannabinoid type 1 seems to play a role. Recent animal data demonstrate complex interactions between dopamine and cannabinoid type 1 signaling, a potential mechanism for haloperidol success in patients with CHS. Our success with haloperidol in these 4 patients warrants further investigation of haloperidol as an emergency department treatment for CHS.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiemetics / therapeutic use
  • Cannabinoids / adverse effects*
  • Dopamine Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Haloperidol / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse
  • Middle Aged
  • Nausea / chemically induced
  • Nausea / drug therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Syndrome
  • Vomiting / chemically induced
  • Vomiting / drug therapy*
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Antiemetics
  • Cannabinoids
  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Haloperidol