Recently, we’ve written about the OPEN Act, which supports using previously FDA approved drugs and using them to treat rare diseases.
Well, this is kind of like that… kind of.
One “club drug” has an effective use for a rare, and often debilitating disease called narcolepsy. That drug is GHB, one of the street names for Gamma-hydroxybutyrate, and it’s also considered to be “liquid ecstasy” on the club scene.
The non-FDA approved form of GHB is an illegal drug that some people refer to as a “date-rape” drug because it’s easy to obtain, comes in liquid, pill, or powder form, and it’s odorless, which makes it easy to slip into your drink when you’re not looking. To learn more about the street names of GHB, you can find it in this article.
But back to the more important message: What most people don’t know, is that a type of Gamma-hydroxybutyrate, sodium oxybate, is also an FDA-approved treatment (Xyrem) in prescription form to help manage narcolepsy symptoms.
Xyrem has shown to be very effective to lessen cataplexy and daytime sleepiness episodes associated with narcolepsy. Granted Xyrem is a tightly controlled prescription, but for the 200,000 Americans who have narcolepsy, it’s wonderful that this treatment is helping them to live more normal lives.