GHB: Should This Notorious Drug be Approved to Treat Fibro?

pill bottle

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You’ve probably heard of GHB, and if that name doesn’t seem familiar, it’s because it is commonly known as a date rape drug. Criminals use date rape drugs to incapacitate people and make them easier to victimize. The fact that this class of drugs renders victims unconscious within minutes and can easily be slipped into a drink makes them popular with rapists and other criminals.

But did you know that this kind of drug might actually be a breakthrough medication for fibromyalgia treatment?

GHB and fibromyalgia

The FDA recently considered sodium oxybate, or GHB, as a fibromyalgia treatment and concluded that there was “no question” that the drug was effective in its double-blind studies. The drug is believed to work by suppressing the central nervous system. That alleviates the overactivity associated with fibromyalgia. It also helps treat difficulty sleeping, a problem that fibro sufferers know all too well.

FDA decided not to clear GHB

However, the administration ultimately decided that it couldn’t clear the drug for mass production due to a number of concerns. First, they concluded that there was a need for further studies on the safety of the drug. Second, they were concerned by the odd dosing procedure. Sodium oxybate requires users to take the drug at night and then set their alarms to wake up four hours later for a second dose.

And finally, there was concern that making the drug more available would make it easier for criminals to gain access to it. The medically prescribed form of the drug as would be given for fibromyalgia treatment works in the same way as the illicit kind of GHB. Test subjects found it knocked them out, “before they had time to send an email.”

But the truth is that sufferers need some form of effective fibromyalgia treatment, especially those who find their condition causes trouble sleeping. And the decision to limit GHB as a treatment makes getting the help they need even more difficult.

And with fibromyalgia such a little known and misunderstood condition, the idea that criminals would be pretending to have it in order to gain access to date rape drugs seems very unlikely.

There is hope, however. The FDA hasn’t permanently banned the use of the drug as a fibromyalgia treatment. It has simply required that more studies be done on a way to improve the safety and reliability of the drug.

Is that fair?

But the truth is that sufferers need some form of effective fibromyalgia treatment. That’s especially true for those who find their condition causes trouble sleeping. And the decision to limit GHB as a treatment makes getting the help they need even more difficult.

And with fibromyalgia such a little known and misunderstood condition, the idea that criminals would be pretending to have it in order to gain access to date rape drugs seems very unlikely.

There is hope, however. The FDA hasn’t permanently banned the use of the drug as a fibromyalgia treatment. It has simply required that more studies be done on a way to improve the safety and reliability of the drug.

So if you find that your fibromyalgia symptoms make it difficult to sleep, one day you may be able to find relief in the form of a common date rape drug. That would be fitting in the end. A drug like GHB is not inherently bad. It’s how it is used that matters. And the idea that a drug which is used commonly to hurt people might also help others in the form of an effective fibromyalgia treatment would be a kind of poetic justice in the end.

Let’s just hope that the FDA decides to see it that way too.

Comments

comments

  • Cathy

    this drug sounds very quick acting I wonder how could patients administer the second dose 4hrs later if we were all asleep 🙁
    I’m trying clonidine mixed with magnesium at the minute via infusion (via private dr 🙁 ) he seems to think it has an effect on the central nervous system has anyone else tried it yet?