Psychosis in the Context of Sodium Oxybate Therapy


Sodium oxybate (brand name Xyrem) is a sodium salt of gam- ma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), an endogenous CNS depres- sant, which is an effective treatment of narcolepsy. As a drug of abuse, GHB produces severe psychiatric side effects and with- drawal. However, there are no reports of these effects when us- ing 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 medi- cation, as well as withdrawal symptoms, even at clinical doses. Keywords: Sodium oxybate, narcolepsy, psychoses – substance- induced, substance withdrawal syndrome

Langford, J., & Gross, W. L. (2011). Psychosis in the context of sodium oxybate therapy. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 7(6), 665–666. doi:10.5664/jcsm.1478