Psychosis in the Context of Sodium Oxybate Therapy
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Sodium oxybate (brand name Xyrem) is a sodium salt of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), an endogenous CNS depressant, which is an effective treatment of narcolepsy. As a drug of abuse, GHB produces severe psychiatric side effects and withdrawal. However, there are no reports of these effects when using clinically recommended doses. This paper presents a case of a patient who developed altered mental status while taking the recommended dose of sodium oxybate and subsequently became psychotic upon abrupt discontinuation of the medication. It is important for prescribers of sodium oxybate to be aware of the possibility of significant psychiatric side effects of this medication, as well as withdrawal symptoms, even at clinical doses.
Langford J; Gross WL. Psychosis in the context of sodium oxybate therapy. J Clin Sleep Med 2011;7(6):665-666.
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