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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2009 Aug 1;103(3):137-47. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2009.03.004. Epub 2009 May 14.

Sedative and hypothermic effects of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) in rats alone and in combination with other drugs: assessment using biotelemetry.

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  • 1School of Psychology, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Abstract

The recreational drug gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) has euphoric effects and can induce sedation and body temperature changes. GHB is frequently combined with other recreational drugs although these interactions are not well characterised. The present study used biotelemetry to provide a fine-grained analysis of the effects of GHB on body temperature and locomotor activity in freely moving rats, and investigated interactions between GHB and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), methamphetamine (METH) and various antagonist drugs. GHB (1000mg/kg) caused profound sedation for more than 2h and a complex triphasic effect on body temperature: an initial hypothermia (5-40min), followed by hyperthermia (40-140min), followed again by hypothermia (140-360min). A lower GHB dose (500mg/kg) also caused sedation but only a hypothermic effect that lasted up to 6h. The dopamine D(1) receptor antagonist SCH 23390 (1mg/kg), the opioid antagonist naltrexone (1mg/kg), the benzodiazepine antagonist flumazenil (10mg/kg), and the 5-HT(2A/2C) receptor antagonist ritanserin (1mg/kg) did not prevent the overall sedative or body temperature effects of GHB (1000mg/kg). However the GABA(B) antagonist SCH 50911 (50mg/kg) prevented the hyperthermia induced by GHB (1000mg/kg). Repeated daily administration of GHB (1000mg/kg) produced tolerance to the sedative and hyperthermic effects of the drug and cross-tolerance to the sedative effects of the GABA(B) receptor agonist baclofen (10mg/kg). A high ambient temperature of 28 degrees C prevented the hypothermia obtained with GHB (500mg/kg) at 20 degrees C, while GHB (500mg/kg) reduced the hyperthermia and hyperactivity produced by co-administered doses of MDMA (5mg/kg) or METH (1mg/kg) at 28 degrees C. These results further confirm a role for GABA(B) receptors in the hypothermic and sedative effects of GHB and show an interaction between GHB and MDMA, and GHB and METH, that may be relevant to the experience of recreational users who mix these drugs.

PMID:
19446408
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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