Effects of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) in opioid-dependent patients

J Subst Abuse Treat. Mar-Apr 1997;14(2):149-54. doi: 10.1016/s0740-5472(96)00157-2.

Abstract

Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is a GABA metabolite used clinically for sleep induction. The abuse liability of GHB is controversial. As part of a study of the effect of GHB pretreatment on naloxone-precipitated opiate withdrawal, eight opioid-stabilized subjects received a balanced, randomized, double-blind sequence of oral placebo, GHB 15 mg/kg and 30 mg/kg. GHB had no consistent physiological effects. After GHB and prior to naloxone, subjects rated "sluggish," "spaced," "carefree," and "good-mood" higher after GHB 30 mg/kg than after placebo. Subjects identified the 30 mg/kg dose as most similar to placebo (n = 3), benzodiazepine (n = 2), opiate (n = 2), and alcohol (n = 1).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Heroin Dependence / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Naloxone / administration & dosage*
  • Narcotic Antagonists / administration & dosage*
  • Neurologic Examination / drug effects
  • Premedication*
  • Sodium Oxybate / administration & dosage*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / diagnosis

Substances

  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Naloxone
  • Sodium Oxybate