Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

honeypot link

Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB)

("G")

By

Gerald F. O’Malley

, DO, Grand Strand Regional Medical Center;


Rika O’Malley

, MD, Albert Einstein Medical Center

Last full review/revision Jun 2020| Content last modified Jun 2020
Click here for the Professional Version

Symptoms

GHB produces feelings of relaxation and tranquility. It may also cause fatigue and feelings of being uninhibited.

At higher doses, GHB may cause

  • Dizziness

  • Loss of coordination

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

At high doses, GHB can also slow breathing and cause seizures and coma, sometimes leading to death. Combining GHB and any other sedatives, especially alcohol, is extremely dangerous. Most deaths have occurred when GHB was taken with alcohol.

Withdrawal symptoms occur if GHB is not taken for several days after previous frequent use. Withdrawal can be life threatening.

Diagnosis

  • A doctor's evaluation

Diagnosis is based on symptoms in people known to have used GHB. No readily available tests can confirm the use of GHB.

Treatment

More Information about GHB

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version
Others also read

Test your knowledge

Computerized Tomography (CT)
In computerized tomography (CT), x-ray images of the body are taken from multiple angles and converted by a computer into images resembling 2- and 3-dimensional slices (cross-sections). People having a CT scan are asked to remove all jewelry and metal items such as zippers and belt buckles located near the body part being scanned. Why are patients asked to remove metal before having a CT scan?
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Also of Interest

Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
TOP