A case of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid withdrawal syndrome during alcohol addiction treatment: utility of diazepam administration

Clin Neuropharmacol. 1999 Jan-Feb;22(1):60-2. doi: 10.1097/00002826-199901000-00011.


Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is an emerging drug for alcoholism therapy. We present a case of GHB withdrawal syndrome secondary to GHB addiction during alcoholism treatment. A complete disappearance of drug withdrawal syndrome was achieved with oral diazepam and the symptoms resolved without sequelae. GHB has been used for alcoholism therapy for only a few years now, but the trend is increasing, and other cases similar to this one are foreseeable. This risk could be higher in some countries in which GHB use is increasing not for alcoholism therapy, but for its euphoric and anabolic effects. The present experience indicates that administration of benzodiazepines would seem to be sufficient to achieve total regression of the withdrawal syndrome in a short time, at least if recognized early.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / drug therapy
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Diazepam / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxybutyrates / adverse effects*
  • Hydroxybutyrates / therapeutic use
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Substance-Related Disorders


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Hydroxybutyrates
  • 4-hydroxybutyric acid
  • Diazepam