Sodium oxybate is used in the treatment of cataplexy and to reduce daytime sleepiness in people suffering from narcolepsy.


What is Sodium oxybate?


Sodium oxybate is a depressing agent of the central nervous system.


How should Sodium oxybate be taken?


Typically, Sodium oxybate is administered orally. The intake must be made ​​on an empty stomach, at least 2 hours after a meal, preferably before bedtime. The action can be very rapid. After the first dose, a second dose should be taken between two and a half hours and 4 hours later.


Side effects associated with Sodium oxybate


The inappropriate use of Sodium oxybate can cause breathing problems, seizures, loss of consciousness and even death. If used properly it can still slow down or stop breathing. Moreover, it can be associated with adverse effects such as:


  • Dizziness
  • Tremors
  • Bedwetting
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea


It is important to contact a doctor immediately if taking Sodium oxybate triggers any of the following symptoms:


  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling of face, eyes, lips, tongue or throat
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Hallucinations, severe confusion, seizures
  • Somnambulism, strange nocturnal behaviors
  • Depression, agitation, unusual or unpleasant thoughts
  • Suicidal thoughts


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Sodium oxybate


During treatment with Sodium oxybate, one should not use alcohol or sleeping pills because that combination could be lethal.

It is also recommended to avoid medicines that may cause drowsiness or slow down the rate of breathing, such as narcotics, drugs against allergies, muscle relaxants, anticonvulsants or drugs.


Finally, Sodium oxybate is contraindicated in those who suffer from lack of succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase; in case of hypertension, heart disease or kidney disorders; moreover, during therapy it might even be necessary to follow a low-salt diet.


Before treatment with Sodium oxybate, it is important to tell your doctor if:


  • You have any allergies to the active substance, its excipients, other medicines, foods, or any other substance
  • You are taking other medications, herbal remedies and supplements, particularly divalproex sodium, medicines for allergies, narcotics, sedatives, muscle relaxants, anticonvulsants and drugs
  • You suffer (or have suffered) from breathing problems, sleep apnea, kidney or liver disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression or psychiatric illness
  • You snore
  • You have a history of alcoholism or drug abuse
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding


Intake of Sodium oxybate should never be interrupted suddenly or without first discussing it with your doctor because it is a drug that can cause addiction.