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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Sodium Oxybate (Oral)

Sodium Oxybate (By Mouth)

Sodium Oxybate (SOE-dee-um)

Treats loss of muscle control (cataplexy) that is caused by a sleep disorder (narcolepsy). This medicine is also called GHB.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to sodium oxybate, or if you are also using another sedative-hypnotic medicine (such as Ambien®, Xanax®, Seconal®, Phenergan®), or if you have a rare metabolism disorder called succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to take and how often. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Use of this medicine is strictly controlled. It is against the law for you to give this medicine to anyone else. You must read, sign, and send in paperwork to have the medicine shipped to you from a central pharmacy.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Take the medicine on an empty stomach, several hours after eating. This medicine will make you drowsy very quickly. It is best to take the medicine only at bedtime or when you are ready to fall asleep.
  • Mix this medicine with 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of water before using. Measure the medicine with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup. Mix it only in the child-resistant dosing cups that came with the medicine. Mix both doses of medicine before you go to bed, and store the second dose close to your bed, out of the reach of children.
  • Take the second dose 2-1/2 to 4 hours after you take the first dose. You may need to set an alarm clock to wake you up so you can take the second dose on time.
  • Never share your medicine with anyone.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss the second dose, skip that dose and do not take any more medicine until the next night. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not freeze.
  • After the medicine has been mixed with water, use it within 24 hours.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy (such as sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, or sedatives). Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have breathing problems, sleep apnea, kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, or a history of depression or drug abuse.
  • Taking too much of this medicine can cause death. Symptoms of an overdose include: Extreme tiredness, unconsciousness, shortness of breath, unsteadiness, and seizures. Call your doctor and get emergency help right away.
  • This medicine may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not take more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions. Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • For at least 6 hours after you take this medicine, do not do anything that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Fainting or seizures
  • Severe confusion, drowsiness, or muscle weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual behaviors, sleepwalking, or thoughts of hurting yourself

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache, dizziness
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of bladder or bowel control
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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