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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Xyrem

Generic Name: sodium oxybate (Pronunciation: SO dee um OX i bate)

What is sodium oxybate (Xyrem)?

Sodium oxybate is a central nervous system depressant. It is used to treat cataplexy (sudden loss of muscle strength) and reduce daytime sleepiness in patients with narcolepsy.

Sodium oxybate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of sodium oxybate (Xyrem)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using sodium oxybate and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things), severe confusion;
  • depression, agitation, unusual or unpleasant thoughts;
  • suicidal thoughts or actions;
  • shallow breathing;
  • bed-wetting;
  • sleepwalking; or
  • waking and confused behavior at night.

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about sodium oxybate (Xyrem)?

Never take more than your prescribed dose of sodium oxybate. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well.

Sodium oxybate is also known as GHB, a known street drug of abuse. Never share sodium oxybate with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

Sodium oxybate works very fast and should be taken while you are sitting in bed ready for sleep.

Sodium oxybate will cause drowsiness and can impair your thinking or reactions. You may still feel sleepy the morning after taking this medicine. Wait at least 6 hours or until you are fully awake before you drive, operate machinery, pilot an airplane, or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Do not take other medicines that make you sleepy or slow your breathing (such as alcohol, cold medicine, pain medication, muscle relaxants, and medicine for depression or anxiety).

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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