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Gamma hydroxybutyrate GHB is a chemical found in the brain and other areas of the body. It can also be made in a laboratory. GHB used to be available as a dietary supplement in the U. GHB and two closely related chemicals, gamma butyrolactone GBL and butanediol BD , were linked to 3 deaths and serious side effects.
Nevertheless, secret production and sales of GHB continued, often on the Internet. GHB was classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, like heroin. It is now illegal for Americans to produce, sell, or possess GHB except for medical use. A prescription form of GHB remains available, but the only legal access to this drug is through a physician or other healthcare provider who is d to prescribe medications.
GHB is used for weight loss, muscle building, and relief of some fibromyalgia symptoms including pain, fatigue, and sleep problems. It is also used as an alternative to the dietary supplement L-tryptophan for promoting relaxation and sleepiness.
People who are addicted to alcohol or narcotic drugs sometimes use GHB to help them manage withdrawal symptoms. It is also used to cause sexual arousal. The prescription form of GHB has been approved by the U. Food and Drug Administration FDA for treatment of narcolepsy, a sleep disorder caused by the brain's inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles. People with narcolepsy experience irresistible bouts of daytime sleep. They can also experience muscle control problems, paralysis, and hallucinations. GHB is available under the generic name sodium oxybate and trade name Xyrem Orphan Medical for the treatment of paralysis associated with narcolepsy.
It is a Schedule III Controlled Substance, which means extra paperwork is necessary when this drug is prescribed, and prescriptions for this drug receive special scrutiny from regulators. Health care providers use GHB intravenously to numb pain and reduce pressure inside the head after a head injury. 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.
Treatment of loss of muscle control and weakness associated with a condition called narcolepsy. Taking GHB seems to help people with narcolepsy sleep at night so they are less likely to feel sleepy during the day.
GHB also seems to help reduce the temporary paralysis that sometimes goes along with narcolepsy. Pain, fatigue, and sleep problems associated with a condition called fibromyalgia. Alcohol dependence and withdrawal. Suppressing symptoms of withdrawal from heroin, opium, morphine, and other opiate drugs.
Reducing weight. Enhancing muscle growth. Causing sexual arousal. Reducing pressure in the brain caused by head injury. Other conditions. More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of GHB for these uses. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate detailed description of each of the ratings.
Use of GHB, or the closely related gamma butyrolactone GBL and butanediol BD , has been linked to at least three deaths and 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. Don't use GHB if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. It's been linked with life-threatening side effects. 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. Alcohol can cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Taking GHB along with alcohol might greatly increase sleepiness and drowsiness caused by alcohol. Taking GHB along with alcohol can lead to serious side effects.
Do not take GHB if you have been drinking. Amphetamines are drugs that can speed up your nervous system. GHB can slow down your nervous system. Taking GHB along with amphetamines can lead to serious side effects. GHB can affect the brain. Haloperidol Haldol can also affect the brain. Taking haloperidol Haldol along with GHB might cause serious side effects. Medications for mental conditions also affect the brain. Do not take GHB if you are taking medications for a mental condition.
Some of these medications include fluphenazine Permitil, Prolixin , haloperidol Haldol , chlorpromazine Thorazine , prochlorperazine Compazine , thioridazine Mellaril , trifluoperazine Stelazine , and others.
Some medications for pain can cause sleepiness and drowsiness. GHB might also cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Taking GHB along with some medications for pain might cause severe side effects. Do not take GHB if you are taking medications for pain.
Some medications for pain include meperidine Demerol , hydrocodone, morphine, OxyContin , and many others. Medications used to prevent seizures affect chemicals in the brain. Some medications used to prevent seizures include phenobarbital , primidone Mysoline , valproic acid Depakene , gabapentin Neurontin , carbamazepine Tegretol , phenytoin Dilantin , and others.
Muscle relaxants can cause drowsiness. GHB can also cause drowsiness. Taking GHB along with muscle relaxants might cause too much drowsiness and serious side effects. Do not take GHB if you are taking muscle relaxants. Some of these muscle relaxants include carisoprodol Soma , pipecuronium Arduan , orphenadrine Banflex, Disipal , cyclobenzaprine, gallamine Flaxedil , atracurium Tracrium , pancuronium Pavulon , succinylcholine Anectine , and others. This could cause serious side effects.
GHB might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness and drowsiness are called sedatives. Taking GHB along with sedative medications might cause serious side effects. Do not take GHB if you are taking sedative medications. Some of these sedative medications include clonazepam Klonopin , diazepam Valium , lorazepam Ativan , and others.
Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Some sedative medications include clonazepam Klonopin , lorazepam Ativan , phenobarbital Donnatal , zolpidem Ambien , and others. GHB should be used only under close medical supervision. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.
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