Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid

GHBγ-hydroxybutyric acidgamma-hydroxybutyrategamma''-Hydroxybutyric acid4-hydroxybutanoic acidgamma hydroxybutyrate4-hydroxybutyrateγ-hydroxybutyrate GHB4-Hydroxy-n-butyric acid
gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid or γ-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), also known as 4-hydroxybutanoic acid, is a naturally occurring neurotransmitter and a psychoactive drug.wikipedia
291 Related Articles

GHB receptor

gamma-hydroxybutyrate receptorGHBGHB High
It acts on the GHB receptor and is a weak agonist at the GABA B receptor.
The γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) receptor (GHBR), originally identified as GPR172A, is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that binds the neurotransmitter and psychoactive drug γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB).

Sodium oxybate

Xyremsodium ''gamma''-hydroxybutyrate
It is commonly used in the form of a salt, such as sodium γ-hydroxybutyrate (Na.GHB, sodium oxybate, or Xyrem) or potassium γ-hydroxybutyrate (K.GHB, potassium oxybate).
Sodium oxybate is the sodium salt of γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB).

Date rape drug

date rape drugsdate-rape drugdrug
It is also used illegally as an intoxicant, as an athletic performance enhancer, as a date rape drug, and as a recreational drug.
A 1999 study of 1,179 urine specimens from victims of suspected drug-facilitated sexual assaults in 49 American states found six (0.5%) positive for Rohypnol, 97 (8%) positive for other benzodiazepines, 48 (4.1%) positive for GHB, 451 (38%) positive for alcohol and 468 (40%) negative for any of the drugs searched for.


Some prodrugs, such as γ-butyrolactone (GBL), convert to GHB in the stomach and blood stream.
In humans GBL acts as a prodrug for γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), and it is used as a recreational CNS depressant with effects similar to barbiturates.

Club drug

club drugsparty drugsdrug use
GHB has been used as a club drug, apparently starting in the 1990s, as small doses of GHB can act as a euphoriant and are believed to be aphrodisiac.
Club drugs range from entactogens such as MDMA ("ecstasy"), 2C-B ("nexus") and inhalants (e.g., nitrous oxide and poppers) to stimulants (e.g., amphetamine and cocaine), depressants/sedatives (Quaaludes, GHB, Rohypnol) and psychedelic and hallucinogenic drugs (LSD, magic mushrooms and DMT).


sudden muscle weakness
GHB has been used in a medical setting as a general anesthetic and as a treatment for cataplexy, narcolepsy, and alcoholism.
Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB, also known as Sodium oxybate) has been found to be effective at reducing the number of cataplexy episodes.


narcolepticdifficulty in controlling her sleepdifficulty staying awake
GHB has been used in a medical setting as a general anesthetic and as a treatment for cataplexy, narcolepsy, and alcoholism.
Another FDA-approved treatment option for narcolepsy is sodium oxybate, also known as sodium gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB).

Succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency

4-hydroxybutyric aciduriaSSADH (succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency)succinate-semialdehyde dehydroxylase
Succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency is a disease that causes GHB to accumulate in the blood.
However, because of the deficiency, the final intermediate of the GABA degradation pathway, succinic semialdehyde, accumulates and cannot be oxidized to succinic acid and is therefore reduced to gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) by gamma-hydroxybutyric dehydrogenase.

Slow-wave sleep

slow wave sleepdeep sleepslow-wave
GHB has been shown to reliably increase slow-wave sleep and decrease the tendency for REM sleep in modified multiple sleep latency tests.
The chemical gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) has been studied to increase SWS.


Other prodrugs, such as 1,4-butanediol (1,4-B), have their own toxicity concerns.
It exerts effects similar to γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), which is a metabolic product of 1,4-butanediol.

Death of Samantha Reid

Samantha ReidHillory J. Farias and Samantha Reid Date-Rape Prevention Act of 2000
In early 1999, a 15-year-old girl, Samantha Reid of Rockwood, Michigan, died from GHB poisoning.
The young men brought them the cocktails, to which they had added either gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) or gamma-butyrolactone (GBL).


depressantsdownerscentral depressant
GHB is a central nervous system depressant used as an intoxicant.

Gamma-Aminobutyric acid

GABAγ-aminobutyric acidGABAergic
It is a precursor to GABA, glutamate, and glycine in certain brain areas.


Higher concentrations inhibit dopamine release via GABA(B) receptors as do other GABA(B) agonists such as baclofen and phenibut.
Phenibut is thought to act as a GABA B receptor agonist, similarly to baclofen and γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB).


KemstroLioresaloral baclofen
Baclofen has been suggested as an alternative or adjunct to benzodiazepines based on anecdotal evidence and some animal data.
In contrast to baclofen, another GABA B receptor agonist, γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), has been associated with euphoria, abuse, and addiction.

Felicia Tang

The toxicity of GHB has been an issue in criminal trials, as in the death of Felicia Tang, where the defense argued that death was due to GHB, not murder.
The medical examiner stated that Tang was found with 320 wounds from blunt force trauma (not including bruises) and with high doses of the drug GHB in her system, together with trace amounts of cocaine.


respiratory depressiondecreased effort to breathedecreased breathing
GHB tends to cause rapid unconsciousness at doses above 3500 mg, with single doses over 7000 mg often causing life-threatening respiratory depression, and higher doses still inducing bradycardia and cardiac arrest.
Many different central nervous system (CNS) depressant drugs such as ethanol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, GHB, sedatives and opioids produce respiratory depression when taken in large or excessive doses, or mixed with other depressants.

Controlled Substances Act

Schedule ISchedule IISchedule III
In the United States, GHB was placed on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act in March 2000.
Congress has sometimes scheduled other substances through legislation such as the Hillory J. Farias and Samantha Reid Date-Rape Prevention Act of 2000, which placed gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) in Schedule I and sodium oxybate (the isolated sodium salt in GHB) in Schedule III.

4-Hydroxy-4-methylpentanoic acid

Recently, analogs of GHB, such as 4-hydroxy-4-methylpentanoic acid (UMB68) have been synthesised and tested on animals, in order to gain a better understanding of GHB's mode of action.
4-Hydroxy-4-methylpentanoic acid (UMB68) is a tertiary alcohol, similar in structure to the drug GHB.


The intermediate compound γ-hydroxybutyraldehyde (GHBAL) is also a prodrug for GHB; however, as with all aliphatic aldehydes this compound is caustic and is strong-smelling and foul-tasting; actual use of this compound as an intoxicant is likely to be unpleasant and result in severe nausea and vomiting.
γ-Hydroxybutyraldehyde, also referred to as GHBAL, γ-hydroxybutaldehyde or γ-hydroxybutanal, is a chemical intermediate in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) from 1,4-butanediol (1,4-BD).

Gamma-Hydroxyvaleric acid

γ-Hydroxyvaleric acidgamma''-Hydroxyvaleric acid4-methyl-GHB
Analogues of GHB such as 3-methyl-GHB, 4-methyl-GHB, and 4-phenyl-GHB have been shown to produce similar effects to GHB in some animal studies, but these compounds are even less well researched than GHB itself.
γ-Hydroxyvaleric acid (GHV), also known as 4-methyl-GHB, is a designer drug related to γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB).

Recreational drug use

recreational drugdrug userecreational drugs
However, when GHB is consumed for recreational or health promotion purposes, its concentration in the body is much higher than normal, which changes the enzyme kinetics so that these pathways operate to metabolise GHB rather than producing it.


Of these analogues, only 4-methyl-GHB (γ-hydroxyvaleric acid, GHV) and a prodrug form γ-valerolactone (GVL) have been reported as drugs of abuse in humans, and on the available evidence seem to be less potent but more toxic than GHB, with a particular tendency to cause nausea and vomiting.
GVL behaves as a prodrug to γ-hydroxyvaleric acid (GHV), a drug with similar effects to those of γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), albeit with less potency in comparison.


Aqua DotsBeados
A popular children's toy, Bindeez (also known as Aqua Dots, in the United States), produced by Melbourne company Moose, was banned in Australia in early November 2007 when it was discovered that 1,4-butanediol (1,4-B), which is metabolized into GHB, had been substituted for the non-toxic plasticiser 1,5-pentanediol in the bead manufacturing process.
The toy was supposed to contain the non-toxic chemical 1,5-pentanediol (a viscous oily liquid used as plasticiser), but instead contained 1,4-butanediol, which is metabolised into the drug gamma-hydroxybutyric acid.

Henri Laborit

The first extended research into GHB and its use in humans was conducted in the early 1960s by Dr. Henri Laborit to use in studying the neurotransmitter GABA.
Alexander Zaytsev synthesized GHB in 1874, and Laborit synthesized the drug in 1960.