Antiemetic efficacy of levonantradol compared to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting

Cancer Treat Rep. 1985 Jan;69(1):109-12.


The antiemetic efficacy of im levonantradol, a synthetic cannabinoid, given at a dose of 1 mg every 4 hours, was compared to oral delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) given at a dose of 15 mg every 4 hours in a double-blind crossover study. Twenty-six patients receiving emetogenic cancer chemotherapy were evaluated. For each drug, 28% of treated patients had no nausea. The median number of emetic episodes with levonantradol was 2.0 versus 3.0 for THC (P = 0.06). Side effects occurred in 91.7% and 97.3% of levonantradol and THC patients, respectively, with drowsiness and dizziness most commonly seen. Side effects were generally well-tolerated, with only 13.9% of levonantradol and 21.6% of THC patients discontinuing treatment because of side effects. Levonantradol appears to be at least as effective an antiemetic as THC and is the only cannabinoid available for parenteral use.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Dronabinol / adverse effects
  • Dronabinol / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nausea / chemically induced
  • Nausea / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Phenanthridines / adverse effects
  • Phenanthridines / therapeutic use*
  • Random Allocation
  • Vomiting / chemically induced
  • Vomiting / drug therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Phenanthridines
  • Dronabinol
  • nantradol