Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 6228

Shown: posts 1 to 12 of 12. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate.

Posted by paul on May 18, 1999, at 16:36:49

I haven't ever seen any information on GHB, which, despite the controversy, seems to be worthy of some attention. Does anyone have any experiences with this substance, or with the (yet-to-be-banned) precursor to GHB, lactone?

 

Re: Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate.

Posted by Torrey on May 19, 1999, at 1:24:05

In reply to Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate., posted by paul on May 18, 1999, at 16:36:49

GHB is very interesting stuff. The media scare campaign and the government's increasing moves to make it illegal - in any form - are tragically misguided.

I have used the products RenewTrient and SomatoPro, which are not GHB, but metabolize into it rather quickly. It works very well to help me sleep - as good as anything I have ever tried - and the really nice part is that there are *no* side-effects the next day. At a lower dose, it is a relaxing and disinhibiting "high," and I guess that's why it gets so much negative attention. I'm not much interested in that - its strictly a medicine for me - but I have noticed that my desire for alcohol has completely gone away since I started using these supplements.

I did talk to my psychiatrist before trying it out, and she thought it would be OK. I take 10mg Celexa (previously 50mg Zoloft) with it, and there has not been a problem. RenewTrient is getting very hard to find - I think the SomatoPro is the only one being produced at this point. Chemically, SomatoPro is 1,4-tetramethylene glycol, which converts to GHB through some kind of enzymatic process. Actual GHB is not available for sale in the US at all - legally, that is - but apparently it is quite easy to make.

The main thing, if one is going to try it, is just to use common sense. As a CNS depressant, it should not be mixed with alcohol or any *other* depressants. It has a very steep dose/response curve, so you need to be cautious, start with a low dose, and increase it only gradually. And, of course, you don't want to be driving or doing anything else that requires you to be awake and alert for your safety. But used sensibly, I think it is really about as harmless and benign as they come. Its quite a simple compound, a natural product of human metabolism, and breaks down completely to carbon dioxide and water. No toxicity AT ALL. GHB is a Good Thing, and it could help alot of people very much.

 

Re: Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate.

Posted by andrew on May 19, 1999, at 17:55:56

In reply to Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate., posted by paul on May 18, 1999, at 16:36:49

> I haven't ever seen any information on GHB, which, despite the controversy, seems to be worthy of some attention. Does anyone have any experiences with this substance, or with the (yet-to-be-banned) precursor to GHB, lactone?

Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) in itself is probably not appropriate as an antidepressant. Iíve read accounts on the internet of people suffering from extreme anxiety and agitation when using large quantities of GHB over a long period.
Iíve had my own terrifying little encounter with GHB. I ended up in a spiral of ever increasing usage that caused mania and little sleep and culminated in a terrible hallucination (truly the most frightening experience of my life) and a grueling withdrawal from the drug that ended me up in the emergency room of a local hospital. Not exactly the kind of experience you want to recommend to someone dealing with depression is it?
Mind you I had no intention at the outset of abusing the drug. I bought it over the internet because it was being touted as an antidepressant. An internet site said that while GHB for most people causes sleepiness, for depressed people it provided energy and mood elevation. It went on to say that depressed people should take GHB throughout the day as needed. Did it relieve my depression? Yes, and then some. The depression was wiped away like a dirty stain off a window, I was as energetic as a puppy, and for the first time in my life I was truly sociable. But it wasnít long before I felt I had something like a monkey on my back. You see, when I was using it I felt great, so great I used more than I should. GHB has a short half life, so after 3 or 4 hours it was time for another dose. Then I began getting headaches and vomiting if I tried skipping a dose. So I just kept on taking it....I didnít sleep much. This was accompanied by a period mania where there were all these wonderful things I felt I could and should do. And then everything came crashing down with a terrifying hallucination. Without my friends to help me get off GHB and back on my feet again, I shudder to think what might have happened to me.
Maybe someday they will develop an analog of GHB without some of its drawbacks (i.e. a short half life, rebound effects). But until then understand, if you are contemplating using GHB as an antidepressant, that nowhere in the world is GHB being prescribed for that use. Its only legitimate use is to help recovering alcoholics. Also remember that back in the 60ís another party drug, LSD, was being touted by some as something that could be used to treat the mentally ill. Now we know how off base they were. And finally, when you read on the internet of something being touted as an antidepressant, consider the source. These sites usually are selling the product themselves and donít necessarily have your own best interests at heart.

 

Re: Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate.

Posted by Sean on May 19, 1999, at 18:38:15

In reply to Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate., posted by paul on May 18, 1999, at 16:36:49

> I haven't ever seen any information on GHB, which, despite the controversy, seems to be worthy of some attention. Does anyone have any experiences with this substance, or with the (yet-to-be-banned) precursor to GHB, lactone?

I have used it many times and found it to be
mildly euphoric and strongly soporific. I had no
adverse reactions and when combined with cannabis
is very nice (ahem, or so I have heard...) I know
some people who have been very stupid with it and
wound up unconscious in some odd place (a car, at
the end of a pier, etc...) but these people were
all violating the "don't mix with any other CNS
depressant drug" rule, which as any G-head will
tell you, is the whole trick to this stuff.

Personally, I find that I don't feel refreshed the
next day after a G-induced sleep. I also think it
tastes awful and since it is essentially illegal,
not worth bothering with anymore. I have never
taken it in the sustained does that would likely
result in a lasting anti-depressant effect. But
as alternative to alcohol or benzodiazepines for
chilling one out, it certainly seems like a viable
option....

 

Re: Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate.

Posted by Torrey on May 20, 1999, at 2:42:26

In reply to Re: Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate., posted by andrew on May 19, 1999, at 17:55:56

It is terribly sad to me when new psychoactive medicines, ones with huge potential to help many people, become "party drugs" that are used irresponsibly, with subsequent government prohibition. This is exactly what happened with LSD, and I fear it is rapidly becoming the fate of GHB.

For the record, GHB has been a used successfully in medicine for the treatment of sleep disorders, for general anethesia, as an aid to childbirth, and an anti-anxiety drug. This is in addition to its value in the treatment of alcoholism. In thirty years of clinical use, the addiction syndrome described by Andrew (and many others on the Net) was never encountered. It is important to distinguish between the use of GHB as a medical treatment on the one hand, and as a "recreational drug" on the other. Nearly all the adverse effects have been a consequence of the latter.

LSD showed *great* potential as a psycho-therapeutic agent. See, for instance, the research summarized in "LSD Psychotherapy" by Stanislav Grof. The problem was not with the medical use of LSD, but with the government's decision to make it illegal. This stopped nearly all scientific research and therapeutic use of LSD, making it instead a black market commodity, of highly dubious quality, vended to teenagers for thrills on Saturday night. Who is to blame for the bad, and even tragic, results - the drug? Or stupid, misguided government policies?

Every time I read another news story about a "GHB Overdose," I see history repeating itself. Media-spawned ignorance, fear, and legislative prohibitions are not the answer to the "drug problem". Scientific research, education, and controlled medical usage are.

Andrew wrote:
> understand, if you are contemplating using GHB as an antidepressant, that nowhere in the world is GHB being prescribed for that use. Its only legitimate use is to help recovering alcoholics. Also remember that back in the 60ís another party drug, LSD, was being touted by some as something that could be used to treat the mentally ill. Now we know how off base they were

 

Re: Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate.

Posted by Elizabeth on May 20, 1999, at 4:31:16

In reply to Re: Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate., posted by Sean on May 19, 1999, at 18:38:15

It's *supposed* to be for narcolepsy.

However, many of the same drugs work in narcolepsy and depression (SSRIs, MAOIs, amphetamines). I don't know what the proposed mechanism of GHB is in narcolepsy or whether it treats the whole syndrome.

It's also been claimed to do all sorts of other things, not the least of which is get you high.

 

Re: Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate.

Posted by Another Bob on May 20, 1999, at 10:02:36

In reply to Re: Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate., posted by Torrey on May 20, 1999, at 2:42:26

Dr. Martin Scharf in Cincinnati has used GHB to treat narcolepsy for more than a decade. He recently published an article (Journal of Rheumatology, 1998: 25:10) indicating good success at treating fibromyalgia. It appears that, in a variety of disorders, sleep disturbances are more causative rather than just symptoms. GHB in proper doses provides normal (albeit short-term) slow-wave sleep (unlike most other sleep agents which destroy normal sleep architecture). And normal slow-wave sleep has been linked to increased production of human growth hormone. This is a very promising area (interface between endocrinology and sleep) that we believe will have significant benefits for insomniacs, as well as those who suffer from mood disorders.

 

Re: Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate.

Posted by andrew on May 20, 1999, at 11:55:51

In reply to Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate., posted by paul on May 18, 1999, at 16:36:49

> I haven't ever seen any information on GHB, which, despite the controversy, seems to be worthy of some attention. Does anyone have any experiences with this substance, or with the (yet-to-be-banned) precursor to GHB, lactone?

Sorry, I made a mistake on my previous posting. I said, "Its (GHB) only legitimate use is for recovering alcoholics." Rather, the manufacturer of medicinal GHB (tradename Alcover) only lists one use for its product, treatment of alcoholics (source: manufacturers insert). It seems that GHB is prescribed, at times, for other uses.

 

gammahydroxybutyrate/gammabutyrolactone

Posted by paul on May 20, 1999, at 14:33:52

In reply to Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate., posted by paul on May 18, 1999, at 16:36:49

I am pleased to see a moderate response to my post.

I agree with Torrey in her assessment of the media hype surrounding GHB- extreme cases of senseless abuse and excess are publicized while the vast majority of benign, sensible use is what we don't see in the headlines-- for the very reason that anything done sensibly and moderately is not attention-getting.

Certainly an image of the horrors associated with alcohol abuse- automobile accidents, "Animal House"-style parties, homeless alcoholics and belligerent drunkards- would not be effective in an effort to have it banned and have it deemed off-limits in terms of scientific study. The reason is that we all know that the vast majority of the population uses it responsibly.

I have never taken GHB directly, but have only taken gammabutyrolactone. My experience with it has been benign and somewhat enjoyable. I certainly don't mix alcohol or other depressants with it. As with alcohol intoxication (for me at least), it is fairly easy to get a feel for one's limits, as there appears to be threshold between feeling good and feeling bad, creating a disincentive to ingest excessive amounts.

 

Re: GHB

Posted by Elizabeth on May 20, 1999, at 16:06:55

In reply to gammahydroxybutyrate/gammabutyrolactone, posted by paul on May 20, 1999, at 14:33:52

So I have a question - *can* anyone tell me what the purported mechanism of action of this drug is?

 

Re: when you read on the internet

Posted by Dr. Bob on May 21, 1999, at 9:22:53

In reply to Re: Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate., posted by andrew on May 19, 1999, at 17:55:56

> when you read on the internet of something being touted as an antidepressant, consider the source. These sites usually are selling the product themselves and donít necessarily have your own best interests at heart.

This is a good general point, and also a chance for me to mention a little page along these lines that I just put together:

http://www.dr-bob.org/quality.html

Take care,

Bob

 

Re: when you read on the internet

Posted by Another Bob on May 21, 1999, at 12:51:38

In reply to Re: when you read on the internet, posted by Dr. Bob on May 21, 1999, at 9:22:53

Dr. Bob's point is well taken. There are people on the internet who claim that GHB is the world's greatest cure-all. A caution bell should go off when you read things like this.

GHB has been used experimentally on a narrow range of patients. It's available by perscription in Europe for drug and alcohol addiction, for anesthesia, and for narcolepsy. Other data on its use is sketchy and inconclusive.

The method of action is not completely understood, but it appears to be through a novel family of neuroreceptors, with some secondary involvement of GABA-B.


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