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CNS Drugs. 2007;21(4):337-54.

Sodium oxybate: a review of its use in the management of narcolepsy.

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Wolters Kluwer Health/Adis, Auckland, New Zealand.

Erratum in

  • CNS Drugs. 2007;21(8):692.


Sodium oxybate (Xyrem) is the sodium salt of the CNS depressant gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and is therefore subject to prescription restrictions. It is approved in the US for the treatment of cataplexy and excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in patients with narcolepsy, and in the EU for the treatment of narcolepsy with cataplexy. Sodium oxybate is generally well tolerated and effective in the treatment of symptoms of narcolepsy with cataplexy. While its short half-life necessitates twice-nightly administration, it is highly effective in reducing the frequency of cataplexy, improving sleep architecture and reducing EDS in patients with narcolepsy. Sodium oxybate therefore offers a valuable alternative or addition to the use of TCAs, SSRIs and stimulants in the treatment of the symptoms of narcolepsy including cataplexy and EDS.

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