Question of the Day – Monday January 1, 2018 —-Happy New Year!

Question: What are the current legitimate uses for the drug gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB)?

Answer: The cited reference notes “For a long time GHB as sodium oxybate was considered an orphan drug, although has now been registered as a pharmaceutical product and given the proprietary name Xyrem (Jass Pharmaceuticals, Palo Alto, Ca). The medication is used to treat cataplexy, which is an important symptom in the disease complex narcolepsy.” These authors also point out that “Another therapeutic use of GHB (sodium oxybate, Alcover) is an adjunctive therapy for treating the alcohol withdrawal syndrome. This application of GHB was recently reviewed and found to be just as effective as diazepam or chlormethiazole in alleviating initial withdrawal symptoms and also as effective as naltrexone or disulfiram in maintaining abstinence and preventing relapse. (Busardo FP and Jones AW. GHB pharmacology and toxicology: Acute intoxication, concentrations in blood and urine in forensic cases and treatment of the withdrawal syndrome. 2015 Curr Neuropharm  13(1):47-70