May 28, 2016

Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (Ghb)

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How does Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (ghb) work?

The natural function of GHB in the body might be to slow down brain activity during sleep. Gamma hydroxybutyrate affects several nerve pathways in the brain, including activating the body's pain-killing (opioid) system and raising levels of growth hormone.

Are there safety concerns?

The prescription medication gamma hydroxybutyrate (sodium oxybate) is POSSIBLY SAFE for adults who are taking it under close medical supervision for symptoms of a condition called narcolepsy.

Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is UNSAFE and illegal for use as a dietary supplement. Use of GHB, or the closely related gamma butyrolactone (GBL) and butanediol (BD), has been linked to at least three deaths and 122 cases of serious side effects. GHB can cause many serious side effects including headaches, hallucinations, dizziness, confusion, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, agitation, diarrhea, sexual arousal, numbing of legs, vision problems, tightness of chest, mental changes, combativeness, memory loss, serious breathing and heart problems, seizures, coma, and death. GHB can be addictive. Long-term use may lead to withdrawal symptoms that are serious enough to require hospitalization.

GHB also has some major interactions with prescription medications.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: GHB is UNSAFE. Don't use GHB if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. It's been linked with life-threatening side effects.

Slow heart rate (bradycardia): GHB should be avoided since it can cause bradycardia.

Epilepsy: GHB might cause seizures in people with epilepsy. Avoid use.

High blood pressure: GHB might raise blood pressure. Avoid use.

Surgery: GHB can affect the central nervous system. There is a concern that it might cause too much sleepiness if it is used along with anesthesia and other nerve-numbing medications used during and after surgery. Stop using GHB at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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