Merck Manual

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Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB)

("G")

By

Gerald F. O’Malley

, DO, Grand Strand Regional Medical Center;


Rika O’Malley

, MD, Grand Strand 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
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