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Sodium Oxybate


Related terms
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    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Xyrem®
    • Brand Names: Canada: Xyrem®

    • It is used to treat sudden emotional shock with loss of muscle tone (cataplexy) in patients with narcolepsy.
    • Sodium oxybate helps to lower weakness.


    How to take

    • Take on an empty stomach.
    • Keep the time the same between the last food of the day and the first dose.
    • Take 2 doses each night.
    • Take at the same time every night.
    • Prepare each dose before going to bed.
    • Mix liquid with 1/4 cup of water.
    • Place in child-resistant dosing cups on bedside table.
    • Take first dose at bedtime after getting into bed.
    • Space doses by at least 21/2 to 4 hours.
    • Set alarm clock to wake up for second dose.
    • Stay in bed after taking doses.

    Missed Dose

    • If you miss the second dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
    • Do not change the dose or stop this drug. Talk with the doctor.


    • Store in the original container at room temperature.
    • Throw away any unused drug by flushing down a toilet or sink.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.



    • This drug may be habit-forming. Make sure that you learn about this drug, what it is used for, how to use it, and when to go back to your doctor. Avoid beer, wine, mixed drinks, or any drugs that slow your actions.
    • You may get this only from the Xyrem® Patient Success Program®.
    • Sometimes drugs are not safe when you take them with certain other drugs. Taking them together can cause bad side effects. This is one of those drugs. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all the drugs you take.
    • Please read the medication guide.


    • Do not give to a child younger than 16 years of age.
    • If you have an allergy to sodium oxybate or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you have succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency.
    • If you are on a low-salt or salt-free diet.
    • If you drink beer, wine, or mixed drinks or take any drugs that have alcohol.
    • If you are breast-feeding.


    • This drug may be habit-forming with long-term use.
    • If you have a drug or drinking problem, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have mental illness or thoughts of taking your own life, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have liver disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have lung disease, talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • You may not be alert. Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions for at least 6 hours after taking this drug.
    • Avoid beer, wine, mixed drinks, or other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.

    Side Effects

    • Feeling lightheaded, sleepy, having blurred eyesight, or a change in thinking clearly. Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert or have clear eyesight until you see how this drug affects you.
    • Feeling dizzy. Rise slowly over a few minutes when sitting or lying down. Be careful climbing.
    • Headache.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Bedwetting.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue or gray skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Sleepwalking.
    • Trouble breathing.
    • Feeling very tired or weak.
    • Change in thinking clearly and with logic.
    • Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Any rash.
    • Side effect or health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
    • Read the package insert for more details.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2013 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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