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Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a depressant that acts on the central nervous system and has recently become a popular drug of abuse.GHB is distributed illegally as a purported strength enhancer, euphoriant and aphrodisiac.1 Bodybuilders claim GHB helps metabolize fat and build muscle, and persons who attend nightclubs and parties (such as all-night “raves”) use it as a euphoriant. Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is an illicitly marketed substance that has recently gained popularity among body builders and party attendees as a drug of abuse. D., Santa Monica–UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, California Am Fam Physician. See related patient information handout on the dangers of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) use, written by the authors of this article.The patient's vital signs in the field were: blood pressure, 170/110 mm Hg; pulse, 70; and respirations, 20. It is purported as a strength enhancer, euphoriant and aphrodisiac and is one of several agents reported as being used as a “date rape” drug. GHB is a depressant that acts on the central nervous system.
Clinicians should be familiar with the typical clinical presentation of GHB and its adverse effects.
In addition, patients should be warned of its potential toxicity and be cautioned to avoid the use of GHB.
The initiating event was not witnessed, but his girlfriend reported that he had recently been using cocaine and other drugs, including GHB.
The patient had no response to deep pain and his pupils were 2 mm in diameter, with a sluggish light reflex.
There are new reports of GHB even being used as a “date rape” drug.2GHB is chemically related to gamma butyrolactone and 1,4 butanediol. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a warning to the public about these products because they have been linked to at least 122 serious illnesses,3 and as many as six deaths.2 Nevertheless, GHB continues to be widely available through illicit sales, home manufacture and recipes that are easily obtainable on Internet Web sites.