The orally administered liquid formulation, Syndros (dronabinol), has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Syndros is an oral formulation comparable to the pharmaceutical version of Marinol® (dronabinol capsules).

Nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy in cancer patients can be a very serious side effect of many commonly used chemotherapy agents. Nausea and vomiting can result in dehydration and nutritional deficiencies. Importantly, nausea and vomiting are also associated with a significant reduction in quality of life among cancer patients undergoing treatment.

If nausea and vomiting become severe, the resulting effects may include hospitalization of patients, intravenous fluids and nutrition, and the reduction of doses of therapy and/or discontinuation of therapy.

There are several agents currently available to reduce the severity and frequency of nausea and vomiting (referred to as antiemetics). However, patients respond differently to different agents, and some stop responding to conventional antiemetics. As such, researchers continue to evaluate novel ways in which to effectively decrease the occurrence and/or severity of nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.

Dronabinol, the active ingredient in both Syndros and Marinol, is a cannabinoid, which is a pharmaceutical version of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Marinol is already approved by the FDA for treatment of anorexia and weight loss in AIDS patients, as well as nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy for cancer among patients who have stopped responding to conventional antiemetic treatments.

The liquid formulation of Syndros will allow patients and physicians to work together in titrating doses to provide optimal relief. Furthermore, the liquid formulation is typically easier to swallow for patients compared to capsules.

Patients suffering from chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting may wish to speak with their physician regarding their individual risks and benefits of treatment with Syndros.


  1. Insys Pharmaceuticals. Insys Pharmaceuticals Announces FDA Approval of Syndros. Available at: Accessed June 6, 2016.
  2. United States Food and Drug Administration. Drug Approvals and Product Devices. Available at: Accessed June 6, 2016.

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