Medical Terminology

sodium oxybate

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Sodium oxybate (Xyrem) is a medication taken at bedtime (and usually again during the night) that promotes deep sleep and improves daytime sleepiness in people with narcolepsy (although its effects in those with idiopathic hypersomnia are not as well characterized). It was approved by the U.S. FDA in 2002 for both cataplexy and excessive daytime sleepiness (the first generic version was approved in 2017). It is a central nervous system depressant, and is the sodium salt of gamma hydroxybutyric (GHB) which is an endogenous compound and a metabolite of the neurotransmitter GABA. Read more about sodium oxybate at HERE and on HF’s Treatment web page HERE.