Last update Sept. 7, 2022


Low Risk

Possibly safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

Nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid structurally similar to delta-9-THC in cannabis, has antiemetic properties and is used for the control of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who have not responded adequately to conventional antiemetics (Martindale). Also in anorexia and weight loss in patients with HIV (DrugBank). Oral administration in two to three daily doses.

Since the last update we have not found published data on its excretion in breastmilk.

Its pharmacokinetic data (very high percentage of protein binding, and very wide volume of distribution) make it highly unlikely that significant quantities will pass into breast milk.

The elimination half-life of nabilone is 2 hours; that of its metabolites, which are unknown if they are active, of 35 hours. (Martindale)

Nabilone does not alter plasma levels of prolactin. (Mendelson 1984)

A punctual use or at the minimum effective dose could be compatible with breastfeeding by monitoring the infant's neurological and feeding status.

Until more published data is known about this drug in relation to breastfeeding, known safer alternatives are preferable, especially during the neonatal period and in the event of prematurity.


  • Domperidone ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)
  • Metoclopramide ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)
  • Ondansetron ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Nabilone in other languages or writings:


Nabilone belongs to these groups or families:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Nabilone in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 95.8 %
Molecular weight 373 daltons
Protein Binding ≥ 90 %
VD 12.5 l/Kg
pKa 9.33 -
Tmax 2 hours
2 (metab: 35) hours


  1. DRUGBANK ONLINE. 2006 - Consulted on Feb. 16, 2023 Full text (link to original source)
  2. Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference Medicines Complete. available online from: 2022 Abstract
  3. Teva. Nabilone. Drug Summary. 2012 Full text (in our servers)
  4. McGilveray IJ. Pharmacokinetics of cannabinoids. Pain Res Manag. 2005 Autumn;10 Suppl A:15A-22A. Review. Abstract
  5. Mendelson JH, Ellingboe J, Mello NK. Acute effects of natural and synthetic cannabis compounds on prolactin levels in human males. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1984 Jan;20(1):103-6. Abstract

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