General Misuse Information
Xyrem is a drug that’s prescribed for people who struggle with a combination of narcolepsy and cataplexy. The latter is when the person has a tendency of falling into a sudden unconscious collapse in reaction strong emotions. It’s not supposed to be prescribed for those who have just one sleep disorder and not cataplexy. Unfortunately, however, even though it was recommended by their advisory committee, the FDA didn’t officially approve it for that exclusive use so physicians are approved for prescribing it for just about any sleep condition. And, most physicians, unfortunately, are not very knowledgeable about Xyrem and usually just go with what the pharmaceutical representatives tell them.
As a result, doctors mistakenly tell their patients all sorts of things about Xyrem, such as that it’s a non-addictive GHB-related drug. However, the reality has been indicating otherwise. It’s not recommended for anyone with a history of alcoholism, for example, to take Xyrem. In many cases, even those who have been sober for years have found themselves spiraling into a new addiction with the GHB. Xyrem is also advertised as an anti-depressant. Many struggling with clinical depression often turn to GHB-related drugs as a last resort. However, Xyrem in particular has been found to only deepen depression. Some have even been known to commit suicide within hours of withdrawal. The basic side effects of Xyrem include everything from confusion to loss of bladder control while sleeping to sleepwalking.
Xyrem also needs to be taken at least six hours before the patient can try to operate heavy machinery, drive a car, or pilot a plane. It has also been known to lead to miscarriages in women who are in the first trimester of pregnancy. There is little to no data to show what can happen in the latter two trimesters. However, animal studies did show a high amount of fetal abnormality. The effects in nursing infants are not known, however, it has been found to show up in breast milk.
Other cases in which Xyrem is not recommended is for people who have liver disease, sleep apnea, glaucoma, and who have gut sensitivity to salt intake. As a result, it’s recommended that patients wait until at least two hours after meals to take Xyrem and should be used with caution for people who have heart conditions.
Specific Xrem Abuse Signs
The first sign to look for in those abusing Xyrem is the extreme withdrawal. Other symptoms include paranoid delusions, insomnia, and anxiety. Even those who normally have very low blood pressure have found that it tends to skyrocket when they become dependent on Xyrem. Others have reported having to turn to other medications to avoid other symptoms such as hand tremors. In some cases, the insomnia becomes so severe that it takes Xyrem along with other drugs, such as Benadryl, just for them to get to sleep.
Other Xyrem abuse signs include seizures, loss of balance, vomiting, and, profuse sweating. Those who are allergic to Xyrem may develop hives, breathing difficulties, swelling in the face, tongue, throat, or lips. Alcohol consumption along with Xyrem can lead to a serious poisoning incident or even fatality.
It has also been found that a total of about 500 drugs are known to combat Xyrem’s effects. These include Xanax, Adderall, fish oil, and Topomax.
Xyrem is perhaps one of the most risky medications currently available on the market. Partly because of the FDA’s error, it has been shown to have vivid and vicarious side effects, especially when abused. When abused, it is probably one of the most fatal drugs out there as it can lead to symptoms such as shortness of breath and very deep suicidal thoughts upon withdrawal.