Talk:Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid

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NPOV? Questionable Qualifications of Zvosec and Smith[edit]

Much of the information re: 'Death and other harmful effects' and 'Treatment of Overdose' cites research by Zvosec and Smith, which appear, based on the discussion below, to have been added to this article by Zvosec and Smith themselves. A specialist in this area is needed to evaluate their claim of being "among the world's experts on this topic"; indeed, the main Zvosek and Smith citation included is a <1 page summary of forensic statistics that does not break out raw data, and is neither peer-reviewed nor experimentally controlled. There is no way to judge whether the "cases" this paper cites from police files are representative of GHB overdoses, or use, in general, nor any reason given why we can extrapolate from them to say "The greatest life threat due to GHB overdose (with or without other substances) is respiratory arrest." Indeed, its main audience appears not to be biochemists or medical doctors, but rather law enforcement. More troublingly, Zvosec and Smith--a Minnesota married couple unassociated with any major university or research center--have extensive ties with 'Project GHB' (, an internet "victim's" advocacy group whose amateurish scare tactics (see one would assume would give any serious researcher pause. Accepting a so-called "A Friend to Have Award" from an aggressively anti-GHB pressure group (or, for that matter, from an equally pro-GHB counterpart) does not unbiased GHB research make.

Again, having stumbled on this article as a decided non-expert, I'm not qualified to judge the quality of Zvosec and Smith's professional work, nor their Wikipedia edits. However, the fact that their unorthodox police report-based "research" apparently contradicts three decades of peer-reviewed literature on GHB's relative safety--combined with the stridency of their advocacy (, their links to an anti-drug cottage industry (, and their seeming lack of scholarly publication on any other topic--should demand a skeptical review by a qualified editor. If their qualifications cannot be substantiated, this article must revert to an earlier version before the appearance of their work (and edits). At the very least, since it is apparent that they added their own papers to this article and independent expert must review citations 48-52, 56 to confirm that the conclusions purportedly established therein are legitimate. Here, researchers criticize a Zvosek and Smith letter that conflates loss of consciousness and amnesia. 'Project GHB,' incidentally, appears similarly reluctant to distinguish "coma" and "sleep." -- (talk) 07:58, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

I've made a few edits to this page today to make it at least sound a bit more neutral and removed some repetition. That section still needs a lot of work though - there are significant portions that are unreferenced and sound like original research (see tags). Cheers, --Amaher (talk) 05:05, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Chemical formula[edit]

Typical for organic acids is to write the COOH-group in the end to describe the structure: OHC3H6COOH, for the simple C4H8O3 is ambiguous. It could be, for example, (CH2OH)(COH)=(CH)(CH2OH), should such compound exist. The actual structure makes naturally a huge difference in properties of the substance; writing it into the formula costs hardly more letters/numbers but gives a good deal of information from a glance (OHC3H6COOH is an acid, whereas the latter example, C2H2(OH)2C2H3OH, would be some weird buthenic alcohol) --sigs (I'm no chemist; extended nature science studies at college, however)

Misquoted source[edit]

Reference 9 refers to GBL, not GHB, yet the article states it as a reference for a comment made on GHB. I'm not going to change it myself, but somebody should.

If that is the case, then surely it is irrelevant and should be removed? (talk) 20:48, 10 April 2008 (UTC)Jonty H. Campbell, 10th April, 2008. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:14, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

A Redirect and Disambiguation[edit]

Someone has written an article on a musical group, Georgia Homeboy. Aside from being a poor article, this makes three references to the slang term. The musical group and bagpipe references are much less distinct than the drug. I propose a creation of a redirect to here, and a disambiguation link. Anyone else? --TKE 21:29, 22 Sep 2006 (UTC)

GHB and Analogs[edit]

Can we use information from here?

There is good information on GBL, BD, GVL, GHV. Also there is an excellent artical in which can be found here: I have taken the liberty to email the principal author and asked him to consider editing the content in the wiki.


That usdoj site is hardly a reliable source of information. It oozes bias and prejudice.

I agree that the .gov -with respect to DOJ, military, etc anyway- is not a reliable source for information about the scene aspects of the drug, but on the other hand, its bound to be a reliable source for information regarding the laws surround the drug, and there's no reason to suppose that the DOJ can't hire people who understand chemistry to aid in prosecuting cases and writing documentation for prosecutors, law enforcement, etc.
On the other hand, I remember when the Navy Civil Engineering Laboratory circulated that flier about "LSD stickers" to parents of children... I later learned that it was packed with some pretty serious errors (disinformation, perhaps?)... Zaphraud 08:03, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

The emedicine page appears factual and balanced however.

I agree with Zaphraud, a gov agency can be rarely trusted. After all, the FDA 'banned' GHB on the flimsiest of evidence. Of course it is pure coincidence that GHB treats depression and is dirt cheap to synthesise, and is 'banned' but Prozac and Effexor is expensive and profitable, with side effects, but continues to make money for US pharma....hmmmm ( (talk) 21:35, 18 February 2008 (UTC))(K) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:33, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

excessive word linking[edit]

It seems like there's excessive word linking, especially under the "recreational use" section. Is it really necessary to link words like 'Australian,' 'US,' 'ice,' '1990s,' and 'rectum.' These words are only indirectly related to GHB and they aren't things people would be likely to want to look up from a GHB article. If no one contests this I'll removed them. Nathan J. Yoder 21:33, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Agreed. Oberiko 21:36, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Hahahahahahaha. I hate when people take "wikification" too far. 07:37, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Ice cubes[edit]

The link supporting the line about ice cubes appears to go nowhere. Perhaps someone who knows what ought to be behind it can find the missing reference, and fix the link? -GTBacchus (talk)

GHB addiction[edit]

(suggested addition + background info) After long term addiction, a sudden stop can even be dangerous as this also causes severe hypertensia and arythmeia and severe insomnia. To counteract these effects, physicians often treat the latter with zolpidem (first choice) but this effect wears off after 2-3 hours, making nitrazepam a better candidate for the first 2 or 3 nigths. In severe cases, oxazepam can be chosen for the first night.

During the first hours/day, a mild dose of diazepam (once or twice 1x 2.5mg) may complement this treatment. (Diazepam can ofcourse also be chosen as a sleeping agent in a somewhat higher doze (since apart from the physical discomfort (sweatiness, coldness, tremors, hypertensia and arythmeia there is a psychological discomfort). Also interaction and doses of a combination treatment should be carefully considered when a combination is chosen - the combination is only meant as a build-down path.

The danger of course is to replace one addiction with the other, but the physical after effects usually subside after 48-64 hours and when kept to the maximum of 3 days, these sleeping agents should not pose an addiction threat, but during the first without any sleeping agent it will be more difficult to fall asleep - this is usually true for any treatment of insomnia.


The best means of withdrawal from GHB is tapered dosage. This is an effective method for anyone who actually wants to stop or reduce their intake.

(My semi-anonymous personal experience rant...)
I definitely crossed the line from recreational use to full blown addiction almost a decade ago. GBL and 1,4-BDL were not controlled at the time and they were cheap. Somehow taking some to party slipped to "can't-sleep-without-it" for about six months (a dose every 4 or 5 hours). Fortunately (although it didn't feel fortunate at the time) my supplier went out of business quite abruptly. I ran out of the stuff, and couldn't sleep for about three days. Lots of sweating, avoiding loud noises and tactile contact with anything rough etc ensued. Not enjoyable at all, but it didn't even occur to me to get medical help. A decade ago, I was probably more informed about GHB than most doctors anyway... Haven't touched the stuff since. What worries me is that I see more and more young people mixing it with alcohol or other CNS-depressants. Not to mention that they actually get it from where ever they can, often they have no idea how much they are ingesting. I got what was supposed to be the "purest stuff" and did the diluting based on that assumption, and never took anything else with it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:59, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

The section entitled "Addiction" is confusing at best. The concepts of withdrawal and addiction, quite distinct from a neurobiological and behavioral perspective, are mixed together in a way they shouldn't. In my opinion, references to withdrawal should be moved to the following ad hoc section. Addiction manifests itself with behaviors that far outlast the end of even the most severe withdrawal (craving, relapses, etc.) and deserves to be dealt with appropriately. The current state of knowledge on the specific topic cannot be inferred from this text. Cheers, Giuseppe Bertini Giuseb (talk) 16:03, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Regarding the recent edit[edit]

What are references for these bits? it is the first time i hear about something like this. In particular, the second bit sounds extremely suspicious. [1] for example lists the same doses for rats as for humans.

"however, it has been recently demonstrated that one third of known GHB-related deaths involved no other intoxicant, and happen mostly as a result of respiratory depression (from its inhibitory effects on the breathing centers in the brainstem) and cessation of breathing, but also due to choking on vomit and asphyxiating."

"However, rats are much more resistant to GHB than humans: a rat also requires at least 10x the dose, on a weight basis, that a human requires in order to become intoxicated."

i am reverting to the previous edit.

--But rats have a much faster metabolism than humans

Quite right. Those paragraphs are total rubbish. One of the reasons that GHB alone is not lethal is that it slows the body's metabolism and reduces oxygen requirements simultaneously with lowering the respiration rate. This is why the human body produces GHB when deprived of oxygen.

Sorry: you guys are misinformed. We (Zvosec and Smith) have gathered autopsy reports on 224 deaths from GHB, over 70 of them from GHB alone. The slowing of metabolism does not compensate for the cessation of respirations. It is wishful thinking by GHB users that GHB is never lethal. The facts show otherwise. We are among the world's experts on this topic, have published several papers on GHB (including the landmark paper on butanediol in the New England Journal of Medicine), talked at dozens of conferences, gathered real data on GHB, including the only formal study of GHB addicts (some data published already, but in abstract form only). If you look at the experimental toxicity data for rats vs. humans, you will see that it takes approximately 10x the dosage (on a kg for kg basis) to intoxicate a rat. Again, look at the data, not at your own beliefs.

The so called 'toxicity' of GHB continues to be flogged to death. GHB has very low toxicity, period. Even Laborit himself reported this. Laborit had listed “very low toxicity” as one of the “principle elements” of the compound’s pharmacological properties. (Laborit 1969) Other papers or researchers have stated thus: On GHB's anesthetic uses - Vickers 1969 - “a truly nontoxic hypnotic” and several times stated it's “lack of toxicity.” Vickers went on to cite evidence that GHB demonstrated “no toxic effects on the liver and kidney.” Laborit described the body’s metabolism of GHB and emphasised “the absence of any need of detoxification by the organism.”(Laborit 1972) “GHB’s action...seems to be without serious side effects.” (Gallimberti 1989)

As far as any residual toxicity, it appears there is none. GHB is completely metabolized into CO2 and water, leaving behind no residue of toxic metabolites (Vickers, 1969; Laborit, 1972). Metabolism is so efficient that GHB can no longer be detected in urine tests 4-5 hrs after it's received by injection. (Laborit, 1964). If this is the case, then autopsies performed on alleged cases of GHB 'poisonings' (again, difficult to poison someone with a practically non toxic substance, I would estimate one would have to consume several Kilos of this salty powdery compound to even approach the LD50 or LD for humans.) would probably find no residual GHB in the system, if several hours had passed after ingestion.

AS far as the statement from our collegue above: "We have gathered autopsy reports on 224 deaths from GHB" this is very interesting, as so far, research appears to point to the opinion that it is difficult or practically impossible to die from GHB injestion alone. I would be very interested to see the data about these autopsies.

As far as the depressed respiration issue, anesthetic (large) doses are accompanied by a small increase in blood sugars amounts, and a significant lowering of LDL and HDL. Yes, it is true that breathing becomes slower, but it also becomes deeper. BP can rise or fall slightly, or remain stable. There is a moderate bradycardia, but it is consistent and stable. (Vickers, 1969; Laborit, 1964). A slight drop in body temperature also happens. (Laborit, 1964).

I hope that this compound can benefit mankind, instead of having to rely on expensive pharma co's soloutions. :)( (talk) 21:36, 18 February 2008 (UTC))


The article describes GHB as a carbohydrate. I initially thought this could not be the case, because GHB does not have a formula of the form Cn(H2O)n and therefore is not a monosaccharide nor is it a derivative of one. Should the word carbohydrate be replaced with metabolite, biochemical or something similar?

Ben Mills 22:10, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

You are correct, I noticed this and came to the talk page to see if there was some sort of holy war about this that resulted in this nomenclature being used. It's not a carbohydrate, fixed.

Its a fatty acid... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:07, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Date Rape drug[edit]

I believe there are no known cases of date rape involving GHB. It was merely a convenient, albeit pointless excuse for making a relatively safe and beneficial drug illegal. Pointless because GHB is trivial to make and someone who intends to engage in date rape is hardly likely to care whether the drug is legal.

Here is a reference for cases of date rape involving GHB. [2] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:42, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Moreover I have corrected a fair amount of the article, toned down some of the alarmist content(for example the impression that GHB can kill when taken by itself, it cannot.), and tried to fully represent scientific studies about this substance. As you can see, it is all referenced where needed.

As far as 'date rape' substances are concerned, the oldest used substance is alcohol, but I havent seen any bans for that recently, moreover, alcohol produces toxic byproducts, GHB does not. KCM

Every chemical is capable of killing you, even water- look up water intoxication. It IS possible to lethally overdose on GHB alone. The LD50 is around 1000-2000 mg/kg which is a lot but keep in mind this is the level where 50% of the treated group is dead and some of them may have died at lower doses. GBL and 1,4 BD seem to be more toxic and easier to overdose on. Renwick 13:58, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

GHB was the drug used in the diane brimble case. 05:27, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Reference for diane brimble case and GHB. [3] Ansell 09:18, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree that even water can cause death. But GHB is 'practically' impossible to overdose on. The LD50 approaches several Kilos of the stuff. I would like to see someone who would be willing to swallow tablespoon after tablespoon of a salty gritty compound. As far as Diane Brimble, nowhere in the press article is their any proof she died from it. More likely, the GHB she took was some homemade stuff. The quality control of homebrew GHB leaves alot to be desired, and no doubt contains impurities. Again, GHB does not produce toxic byproducts (Vickers, 1969; Laborit, 1972) I suspect mortality over swallowing Kilos of the stuff results from the salty saturation aspects of the compound. (K)( (talk) 21:36, 18 February 2008 (UTC))

This section is plain old piss-poor - I removed a rubbish quote - personal experiences are not acceptable references. I left the "citation" in in reference to the salty character of the substance, but a better one is necessary. Also added balancing statements, although this whole section should be revamped. It is not generally relevant and seems to be written by GHB proponents to disagree with legal rulings. Regardless of the use of GHB as a date-rape drug, it has a real potential for this purpose, and has been immplicated in many cases. The taste is secondary, and stating that it is too noticeable implies that the victim should notice and is therefore culpable. Halogenated 05:10, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

The revision removed the central point I had added regarding the onus to recognise the taste - this is very important in the context of this section of the article, as it implies the victim is to blame by not recognising something amiss. This is entirely where a legal defence strategy could and likely has been hinged. It could use a source, as could much of the info here, but it is not a NPOV issue. If we're going to bother to include discussion of the taste being an issue at all, under which is the implication that it is laregly noticeable, this needs to be addressed.

Halogenated 16:35, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

"Regardless, the taste of GHB is largely irrelevant to its use as a date rape drug, as it implies there is an onus on the victim to notice it." would be considered opinion rather than fact and thus not appropriate for Wikipedia- less so than the crap that pro-GHB editors have put in before, but still not appropriate. Really, it's just irrelevant, as it's perfectly obvious that rapists are not less culpable in rape because the victim 'should have noticed' something. I highly doubt that a legal defence has been 'hinged' on this point. John Nevard 03:08, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I suppose you are right that it is not a "fact", but it is more a common sense observation than an opinion (there is definitely a difference, for what it's worth). Unfortunately, many of the people pro-GHB people contributing to this section of the article seem to lack that bit of common sense. I would agree that it seems pretty obvious, but suprisingly that doesn't seem to occur to many people, including some police officers and judges. More than a few rapists have escaped conviction based on what a woman was wearing or her past sexual history - seems to me that that does not make the rapist less culpable either, but the law is not exactly a model of true justice. That being said, I will not object if you wish to remove that line. I would suggest though the entire premise of taste be removed altogether then, as it too is merely an opinion.

Removing the taste issue altogether is not really fair. The taste of GHB dissolved in water is quite apparent. However, I am not saying that a victim should be blamed for 'not noticing' the taste, thats a horrid thing to say. But the prevalence of it's use in spiking is WAY overstated. One cant just drop GHB powder into someones beer and get away with it, it's immediatley noticable. Only the most sugary and highly flavoured cocktails or drinks could hide the saltiness. However, can we please just stick to the point that YES, GHB powder dissolved in water (or watery beverages) is like drinking VERY salty sea water? It isnt opinion, it's fact. One can't say that stating seawater is salty is an opinion, it is reality, and GHB in dissolved form is quite, quite salty. Putting aside all the 'date rape' hysteria, since GHB, if one wanted to, be added to someones alcoholic drink, it doesnt make it any more a 'date rape' drug, than a gun is a 'human termination device'. People rape people, people kill people, not guns. We are throwing the baby out with the bathwater here. If we are to get pedantic about 'date rape' drugs, then GHB is a terrible choice to do that nefarious deed. Dissolved Valium, Mogadon, or one of the many barbituites are a far 'better' choice if one wanted to knock someone out. (K)( (talk) 21:37, 18 February 2008 (UTC))

Halogenated 03:39, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

So I think this section has been cleaned up pretty well. I think the neutrality dispute tag could probably be removed, unless someone has any objections. Anyone? Halogenated (talk) 18:18, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

A letter I received from an RC patroller, and our response.[edit]

Hi there, I've noticed that you are inputting new information into Wikipedia off of this site: . While we appreciate good edits to articles at Wikipedia, copying and pasting information is not the way to go. Please do your own Original Research on the topic and refer back and edit the article accordingly. Thanks. Schizmatic 22:56, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Dear Sir,

I appreciate your concern. However, the site you refer to was not the one I used. It itself is a 'copy and paste' - as you put it - of the Cognitive Enhancement Research Institute's site (

Since I made references to the appropriate articles and websites, we believe that no rules were broken. All of the scientific studies (Chin, Krutzer et al) are public domain.

We have been studying GHB for over ten years, and am the Chair of the UK health pressure group, 'Campaign for Ethical Medicine' (CEM. A group that champions cheap, and effective medicine, putting people before profit. We have in the past lobbied the UK government in particular to reverse it's schedule change in 2003 of GHB, amongst varied concerns over the UK drug agency 'NICE' over the excessive proposed regulation of the supplement industry. We also take strong exeption to youre term of 'vandalism'. As a professional group of volunteers, we strive to cross check and examine any material we come accross, so we cannot see how this particular edit was 'vandalism'.

I have personally spoken to one of the researchers at CERI, - Steven Wm. Fowkes - on two occasions to seek his counsel on how to proceed to attempt to reverse the schedule change of GHB in the UK.

As to your question of 'research', our research is thus: searching and compiling, and editing down relevant paragraphs or sections of scientific papers over GHB. This can originate from libraries, medical organisations, journals such as 'New Scientist', 'Nature' or in this case, a well documented and trusted website ( 'Original' research over GHB has already been done, there is over forty years of research. In any case, 'original' research is often done by trawling through existing documented evidence, and compiling and republishing.

Seeing as a proportion of the previous edit was actual quotes from published studies, one cannot avoid some degree of 'copy and paste' I dare say that the edit as it now stands, has been copied and pasted or re-worded from some medium or other.

In closing, I am of the opinion that although the edit as it stands now is well intentioned, in places it is innaccurate, alarmist, and does not contain enough references to peer published papers. We will be contacting and ask Steven if he will condsider editing the Wiki entry on GHB. If he does not wish to, I will formally ask his permission to use his research and website in an aid to correct the article. I do not see any reason he will refuse. Both Steven and I share the same passion over lifting the veil of demonisation over GHB.

Expect even more accurate and referenced edits to the GHB article in future. We would appreciate it if any changes to that edit, to be factual and free of alarmist tone.

With all due respect, CEM has researched and studied orphan drugs such as phenytoin, GHB, Nootropics and nutritional supplements for a respectable period. Wiki's staffers or admins, have not.

Best regards,

Keith C Macrae Bsc

Chair, Campaign for Ethical Medicine.

"searching and compiling, and editing down relevant paragraphs or sections of scientific papers"
That's original research. 22:09, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
Not usually, no. It's just reporting what the research is, and restating it in summary. No different than bringing in information from several different books or whatnot. Whether they're restating it *impartially* is another matter, but mere compilation is not a problem -- 19:26, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, previous comment was by me, I forgot to log in --Paul Drye 19:27, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

So, sorry If I dont understand here, is one supposed to add content by re wording it, so one cannot be accused of 'copy and paste' or is 'copy and paste' acceptable if one references the study/paper/research? ( (talk) 22:02, 18 February 2008 (UTC))

Just a moment, doesn't Keith MacRae and CEM have a point here with his broader concern about 'Research', in that if you consider the world 'Re-search'- to look or search again - is what we do when writing a University paper or dissertation where your essay discussions and findings are based on previous corpus of books and literature, argued from both sides and distilled down to conclusions, based on the weight of existing evidence, including recent, if not more cautious experimentation conclusions? (talk) 20:26, 10 April 2008 (UTC)Jonty H. Campbell 10th April, 2008

Is Category:Psychoactive drugs applicable?[edit]

I ask if GHB shouldn't also be categorized under this category, instead of or in addition to its current categorization under Drugs. __meco 12:30, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Article moved[edit]

I have moved "Gamma-hydroxybutyrate" to "gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid". The ending "-ate" is reserved for salts and esters. Usually it used in its salt form, e.g. as "sodium gamma-hydroxybutyrate", but the pharmacological action resides in the "gamma-hydroxybutyric acid" part. "gamma" is a prefix much like numbers, therefore the "Hydroxy" is the real start of the articles name and must be capitalized. Cacycle 18:27, 1 July 2006 (UTC)


According to this article in an Australian newspaper, GHM is also known as "fantasy". Is this just in Austrlia? Can somebody who knows add it to the article? — Hippietrail 23:04, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

I think it was probably made up by the press, along with "GBH". Mark PEA 17:57, 12 August 2006 (UTC)Mark PEA

GBH is a common name for GHB in Australia also, though I do not have a reference to cite to back this up. Afromcbenny (talk) 11:05, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Hobart "Mercury" newspaper on 7 and 8 Nov used the word "Fantasy" as well as chemical name.Polypipe Wrangler 20:27, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
As this meaning is included at Fantasy (disambiguation), I'll add it to the lead of Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid too. (By the way, in Denmark, where I live, "fantasy" is the common denomination for this drug, at least in the media. Not that that matters, since this is the English wikipedia.)--Noe (talk) 08:50, 12 September 2008 (UTC)


In the history section it is claimed that it was first synthesized in the 1960s by Henri Laborit. I find this rather hard to believe. Surely it is meant that he was the first to study its neurological effects? This is a very simple molecule, very similar to (but simpler than) malic acid, fumaric acid and tartaric acid, all of which (along with butanoic acid itself) were already being intensively studied and synthesized in the 1850s by e.g. Théophile-Jules Pelouze; while Alexander Borodin did extensive work with beta-Hydroxybutyric acid (under the name oxybutyric acid) in the 1860s. It is very hard to believe that such a simple molecule was overlooked for more than a century when all its brothers and sisters had been studied intensively for so long. So, in short, does anyone have a reliable reference for this improbable claim? -- Securiger 01:02, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

No? Well, I'll insert a {{fact}} tag to broaden the search. -- Securiger 03:23, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

These are the pre-1900 references for GHB (acid) from Beilstein:

1874 Saizew,A. JLACBF Justus Liebigs Ann. Chem. 171 274.
1882 Saizew,A. JLACBF Justus Liebigs Ann. Chem. 171 1874 261 JPCEAO J. Prakt. Chem. <2>25 64.
1882 Fruehling MOCMB7 Monatsh. Chem. 3 697.
1884 Fittig Chanlarow JLACBF Justus Liebigs Ann. Chem. 226 331, 332.
1884 Chanlarow JLACBF Justus Liebigs Ann. Chem. 226 326.
1885 Fittig Roeder JLACBF Justus Liebigs Ann. Chem. 227 19.
1892 Henry ZEPCAC Z. Phys. Chem. Stoechiom. Verwandtschaftsl. 10 113, 116, 125, 126.
1896 Bentley Haworth Perkin JCSOA9 J. Chem. Soc. 69 175.
1896 Fichter Herbrand CHBEAM Chem. Ber. 29 1193.
1898 Henry BSCFAS Bull. Soc. Chim. Fr. <2>45 1886 341 CHZEA6 Chem. Zentralbl. GE 69 II 273.
1899 Perkin Sprankling JCSOA9 J. Chem. Soc. 75 17.

Moreover I couldn't find Laborit as a first author. Cacycle 13:16, 13 July 2006 (UTC) Laborit has published many papers on GHB in the early sixties, I will check for a good one to be cited here. Cacycle

Laborit was the first to SYNTHESISE it. I think we can all agree it was looked at earlier. I think Laborit really was the first Scientist to bring it to a larger Scientific community. (K)

Study on neuroprotection[edit]

Can somebody link me to it? (Also the article needs it for citing)


This article states that GHB is the only chemical that occupies more than one schedule. This is misleading. delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC is listed as Schedule I, and Dronabinol, or synthesized THC, is listed as Schedule III. Also, codeine is a Schedule II substance, although certain codeine containing preparations are listed as Schedule III & V. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Plutoniumboss (talkcontribs) 19:21, 23 December 2006 (UTC).

Rape Drug[edit]

I have read (somewhere) that GHB is a drug often used to rape unsuspecting females (quoting what I've read). So, after a person is druged with GHB, she either doesn't feel what's happening or she feels and wakes up, but later she wouldn't be able to remember it. That's why it is so oftenly used to rape. Being this true (I can't confirm right now), shouldn't the article say something about this? I'll have to take a look at the subject first, and if I find anything useful I'll write here again!

Regards —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 02:48, 30 December 2006 (UTC).

The article says "The drug is often represented as a date rape drug, much in the same way as alcohol and rohypnol. It is often referred to as liquid ecstasy despite its unrelated effects.", for more information on date rape drugs, check the wikipedia entry on it (here).
The article also says "At higher doses, GHB may induce nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, agitation, visual disturbances, depressed breathing, amnesia and unconsciousness." Mark PEA 13:15, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Astonishing how the purported effects of the "date rape drug" of GHB, are identical to alcohol? 23:12, 5 December 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Radiojonty (talkcontribs)

Treatment of overdose[edit]

Its all very well removing content that is written in the first person rather than in the proper encyclopaedia language, but I'd like to point out that the extra stuff on treatment of ghb overdose was from a medical doctor experienced in the treatment of ghb overdose, who i asked to contribute as i felt that my contribution (as a pharmacologist) was somewhat incomplete. Surely such advice from an expert should be rewritten in more appropriate language rather than simply deleted! I have amended the Treatment of Overdose section in more appropriate language. DO NOT REMOVE THIS INFORMATION UNLESS YOU ARE A MEDICAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL AND ARE SUBSTITUTING IT WITH MORE APPROPRIATE ADVICE OF YOUR OWN. OVERDOSE OF GHB PRESENTS A CONSIDERABLE RISK OF DEATH AND TREATMENT ADVICE FOR GHB OVERDOSE IS HIGHLY NECESSARY TO A WIKIPEDIA PAGE ABOUT GHB. 23:49, 15 January 2007 (UTC) (Meodipt)

I am sorry, but the all CAPS statement that "OVERDOSE OF GHB PRESENTS A CONSIDERABLE RISK OF DEATH" is alarmist at best. If you, like me, are a pharmacologist (myself a Bsc Pharm) then perhaps you are aware of the studies done on GHB's non toxicity? The LD50 of GHB in pure pharmaceutical form approaches many many heaping tablespoons of a salty, gritty compound. In many cases, Doctors are in a poor position of providing 'overdose' advice of a compound many know little about. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:22, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Oh, just thought I would comment on this line: "If the patient is taking less than 8 breaths per minute, and if his/her pulse is less than 60 a minute (both numbers are for adults), then the appropriate course of action is to start CPR" Not being a medic, is it wise to actually do CPR on someone who is still breathing and has a pulse? Last time I checked, CPR involves blowing into the lungs, and heart massage, which can break the sternum if done effectively, massaging a functioning heart doesnt sound like a good idea to me. Input from medics or EMS workers would be nice. :) I am up for modification of deletion if EMS/paramedics agree.( (talk) 21:57, 18 February 2008 (UTC))

I am a fifth year medical student. According to St John Ambulance Australia's revised CPR guidelines, the potential harm of delaying CPR outweighs the potential harm caused by inappropriate CPR - so the first aider is instructed to check for danger, response, airway and breathing. If breathing is not present, then they are instructed to commence CPR without checking for a pulse. This is because a pulse can be difficult to find by an inexperienced individual. Afromcbenny (talk) 11:12, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Not to sound too flippant here, but I think that its reasonably simple to find a pulse on the carotid artery on the neck. It is quite strong. Would a weak pulse still be easy to find on the carotid?

I appreciate the med student's input above. Are we saying that CPR should or should not be done on a person that is breathing and has a pulse? More paramedic views would be handy thanks! (16th march)KCM —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:35, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Body Building Effects?[edit]

I looked up this drug for it's body building effects, only to find one or two sentences can someone add more? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:09, 5 February 2007 (UTC).

According to the article, it is the GHB metabolite, succinate, that is responsible for the body-building effects (though I've added a {{Fact}} tag to it). Unfortunately there is no information in the succinate article about it either. - I'll do some research on PubMed later and if I find anything, will add it to the article. --Mark PEA 21:13, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

I found the reference for succinate causing growth hormone release on PubMed years ago but i didn't write down the reference at the time, and looked again just now and couldn't find it. But i'm pretty sure that info is accurate, if someone can locate the original reference it would be much appreciated! Meodipt 09:21, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

I cant find any research showing succinate raises HGH, I have referenced some research showing that GHB does raise HGH and that it is blocked by antimuscarinics.. as to whether the succinate metabolite contributes to this... I dont know but I strongly doubt it is a significant contribution, GABA(B) agonists have been shown in themselves to elevate HGH. I can also find no evidence to show that succinate elevates growth hormone, even if it does.. it doesnt make sense to asume that is the sole reason for GHB elevating HGH. Being its been several months since that was added and you still havent referenced it. Unless you can find it I will remove the quote in a couple of days, as it is as far as I can see unsubstantiated. Also shouldnt this have been in the initial body building section in the first place? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:24, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

GHB is not the only dual-schedule drug.[edit]

In the United States it was placed on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act in March of 2000 although when sold as Xyrem it is considered Schedule III, making it the only drug to simultaneously occupy two different schedules.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think this is true. While THC occupies Schedule I, Marinol is set at Schedule III. Therefore, it is not the only drug to simultaneously occupy two different schedules. I don't want to change it until I know this is correct though. 20:08, 19 May 2007 (UTC)Andares

Recall in Australia[edit]

Some toy in Autsralia appearantly is metabolizing to GHB in some children.

Would a new section titled "GHB In the News" be appropriate? "Popular Culture" and "History" don't seem to fit.

Bindeez (Manufacturer's site)


Oh, those Chinese manufacturers; up to their shenannigans again ^_^

Willoller 06:37, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

It's already mentioned. Do a search of the article text for "recall". - Ageekgal 14:31, 8 November 2007 (UTC)


Why is the initial "G" in lower caps? -Henry W. Schmitt 03:25, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

I just looked at the revision history and User:Cacycle said:

--Henry W. Schmitt 20:27, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

I removed the lowercase template; this is an article title and should be treated like the beginning of a sentence. --Henry W. Schmitt 06:29, 16 November 2007 (UTC)


Articles states:

In any case, this puts a responsibility on the producers of GHB to ensure that it has a strong distinct taste so as to prevent its use as a date rape drug — something that should not be placed in the hands of criminals.

Is this really NPOV? Or what should be done? --Ysangkok 18:14, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Definately not NPOV IMHO Eeso 22:40, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

This issue was fixed on 13 November 2007 by Halogenated. diff. -- (talk) 19:44, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Por supuesto que no lo es. (talk) 03:19, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Popular culture section[edit]

I added the trivia tag. I'd be for deleting the whole thing - I don't think any of these references count as notable. Else take the best three and reword as prose? Straussian 13:42, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree for deletion. Trivialisation of a medicinal or medical compound isnt clever, or relevant. Ditto for trivia sections on Prozac or other medicines. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:24, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the above two comments. Afromcbenny (talk) 11:13, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Endogenous GHB receptors[edit]

The GHB receptor is inhibitory, see PMID: 15745703, it is not excitatory. I will correct this in the article. It was briefly guessed that the GHB receptor was excitatory in the 1990's because GHB has some excitatory effects on a whole-animal level, such as seizures, and on a cellular level (see PMID: 7757470). However, these excitatory effects can be explained by the fact that GHB binds to receptors on GABAergic neurons (perhaps including presynaptic receptors and/or dendritic receptors) and inhibits GABA release (PMID: 7791129). GHB might also be excitatory because large doses desensitize the inhibitory receptors that they would stimulate at a lower physiologic dose.(source) In summary, GHB has complex and not fully understood pharmacodynamics involving multiple receptors.Fluoborate (talk) 07:40, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

I cited the same document three times, but it assigned three different numbers (currently citations 9, 10, and 12). Can I make that document only appear in the footnotes once, and have the same superscript number (9) appear three times in the text?

Also, I almost said that GHB is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, (directly quoting this source) but I didn't say that because that might just confuse people.

I might like to see some sources on all that stuff about GHB and dopamine. I have never read anything suggesting that dopamine was responsible for the excitatory effects of GHB, although I have read that dopamine is responsible for the reinforcing effects.Fluoborate (talk) 08:13, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

well done[edit]

thats it, man —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:44, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

The Image File[edit]

Is wrong, if a six membered ring were to be formed the two oxygen atoms would be adjacent; any decetn chemist would understand that it wouldn;t happen. Here is a link ( ) to a picture of GHB in the lowest energy conformer (I know this because I just ran it through CAChe to make sure it was teh cinformer using the PM3 forcefield)

I had a look for a crystal structure determination or a rotational spectrum analysis, but couldn't find it for this molecule.
I calculated the structure in Spartan '04 ST, using HF/3-21G, and got this molecule (PDB).
I'll make an image of it soon, give me a few days until my exams are over.
Ben (talk) 19:58, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Maybe this is being picky, but the conformation depicted in the imageshack link above seems best. It has no gauche interactions while the one depicted in Ben's .pdb file has one gauche interaction. The one currently in the article is likely to be the highest energy conformation of the three. ChemNerd (talk) 20:14, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Maybe you're right -another PDB, starting from the more linear conformation, (this time with HF/6-31G*) is available here. It would obviously be preferable to find experimental data on the conformation of this molecule, so if anyone has any or knows where to find it, speak up!
Again, image to follow shortly.
Ben (talk) 20:40, 29 May 2008 (UTC)


Ben (talk) 21:58, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

I remember looking at this topic a while ago, and it was complicated. Several papers have been published about the conformation of GABA, and if I remember correctly there were several conformations close in energy, with the preferred one depended a lot on whether you were talking about the gas-phase conformation, the conformation in solution (and in which solvent), or the binding conformation. Of course, there is the issue with the protonation states. And then there's the crystal structure. So, which one do you prefer as the True Structure? ;-) I can send you the CIF with the crystal structure if you want, or if you can get it from the CSD, the code is GAMBUT01, GAMBUT02, GAMBUT04, or GAMBUT10 (each one has a different packing, but the molecule itself looks more or less the same, zwitterionic with a trans NCCC and a gauche CCCC). --Itub (talk) 16:57, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Big oops! I thought this was about gamma-aminobutyric acid, not gamma-hydroxybutyric acid! Sorry for the confusion. --Itub (talk) 17:26, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

I was going to say, zwitterionic?!

Cheers, though!

Ben (talk) 17:26, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Anyway, some of the questions about which conformation is the best one remain (except for the one about the zwitterion...). However, this compound doesn't seem to have received as much attention as GABA and after a quick look I couldn't find neither theoretical nor experimental data about its conformation. Cheers, Itub (talk) 17:43, 18 June 2008 (UTC)


Deleted "best practice" of treating with physostigmine + lorazepam. Subsequent reviews come to the conclusion, that this is dangerous, ineffective and lacking scientific study and evidence. Relies on anecdotal evidence only. Article needs references. (talk) 03:40, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Opening Sentence - Need Clarification[edit]

"gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid, 4-hydroxybutanoic acid, or GHB is a naturally-occurring substance found in the central nervous system, wine, beef, small citrus fruits, and almost all animals in small amounts.[1]"

Does "the central nervous system" refer to the human central nervous system, or the hominid central nervous system, or the mamalian central vervous system, or the central nervous systems of all vertabrates? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:39, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

The Title Casing[edit]

I will move the article tomorrow, and its new title will be 'Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid'. I'm only warning you on beforehand to prevent you from moving it back. 'G' in 'Gamma' for being the first letter of the title and 'h' in 'hydroxybutyric' for not being the first letter of the title. --Hetzer (talk) 19:52, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Read the above #lowercase notes to see that capital H is chemically correct. DMacks (talk) 20:07, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I have read it, and it makes no sense. Like Henry W. Schmitt said: ‘this is an article title and should be treated like the beginning of a sentence’. You don't look for the meaning of a word when deciding whether or not to capitalize the first letter when it's the first word, do you? This has nothing to do with the meanings of the words. It's about proper language; the world's greatest chemists have nothing to say in this case. --Hetzer (talk) 10:12, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Do not move the article, as such action would be contrary to the wishes of the Wikipedia chemistry community. See Wikipedia:Manual of Style (chemistry)/Nomenclature#Capitalization of elements and_compounds for the guidelines we have agreed upon.

Ben (talk) 14:11, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Fleeting Ecstasy[edit]

It stays that often, GHB is called Fleeting Ecstasy.

WHY does is it called Fleeting Ecstasy? Out of the things I've readed (this article too), Ecstasy and GHB is about as like each-other as Heroin and Khat. Or? —Preceding unsigned comment added by King Floyd the Great (talkcontribs) 18:26, 14 May 2010 (UTC)


The neuro-toxicity and addiction texts are contradictory. Does it destroy brain cells, yes or no? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:23, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

The references in the toxicity section are much more reliable than those in the addiction section. Studies have shown that it does damage the brains of rats. Smartse (talk) 19:03, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
So let's remove the conflicting toxicity notion in the 'addiction' subchapter. It is confusing. Toxicity information belongs in the 'toxicity'-section, not in 'addiction' :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:56, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Don't be afraid to be bold in the future if you spot a similar problem in an article. Just explain why you are making the edit in the edit summary to let other editors see your reasoning. Thanks for pointing out the mistake though. Smartse (talk) 10:49, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

I also took out the part about the LD50 that had sat needing a citation for 14 months. (talk) 14:25, 29 August 2011 (UTC)Ubiquitousnewt

Merge discussion[edit]

Xyrem should be merged here per WP:MOSMED. --ἀνυπόδητος (talk) 08:17, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Merge [of Xyrem] with gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid would be the best approach I'd say seeing as the non-drug uses of GHB are fairly minimal. Meodipt (talk) 10:28, 22 September 2010 (UTC) copied here by ἀνυπόδητος (talk) 08:17, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

I respectfully disagree. I believe that these two articles should remain separate. Combining these two articles would cause confusion among readers and lead to nonproductive conflict between editors.User:WhoNeedsSleep —Preceding undated comment added 06:00, 27 September 2010 (UTC).

  • Support merge. They are both the same drug and should be on one page.--Literaturegeek | T@1k? 17:04, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Here are some of the reasons why I oppose merging these two articles. Sodium oxybate, the active ingredient in Xyrem, is a sodium salt of gamma- hydroxybutyrate. There are many prescription medicines on the market today that have naturally occurring substances as their active ingredient. Two examples that have been in the news recently are AndroGel and Fortesta which are both testosterone. Additionally, estrogen and progestin are both a man-made version of progesterone which are the active ingredients in most birth control pills. Zemplar is vitamin D. Penicillin is derived from Penicillium... These are a few examples off the top of my head. There are many more. Combining these two articles would not be consistent with how other prescription medicine articles are listed within Wikipedia today. The content within the Xyrem article is strictly based on a manufactured prescription medicine not a naturally occurring substance. The GHB article references Xyrem in a few places. If we are concerned that these articles are redundant the simple solution is to remove the few sentences regarding Xyrem from the GHB article and add a Dablink or a single sentence to direct readers to Xyrem. WhoNeedsSleep (talk) 02 October 2010 (UTC)

If they are the exact same compound, they should be merged. If and only if there is more than one major use of the compound, should it be split, but that is undesirable for maintainability and synchronization. Usually, drugs which are available in different salt or ester forms which are functionally identical should be subsumed under one article, with one representative chem/drug box (e.g. pancuronium bromide), but perhaps this is not the case for Xyrem, if the sodium salt is the established form by which this compound is administered. --Rifleman 82 (talk) 06:34, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

It is important to note that Xyrem and GHB are considered separate agents by the DEA and FDA under the Controlled Substances Act. Xyrem is a schedule III product and GHB is schedule I and is illegal.WhoNeedsSleep (talk) 02 October 2010 (UTC)

Seems a good enough reason for them to be separate, though one should never forget that Xyrem is the trivial sodium salt of the free acid. --Rifleman 82 (talk) 06:58, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Xyrem is not available in Australia[edit]

FYI - Xyrem is not currently available in Australia. Being narcoleptic I wish it was. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:56, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

Capital H in title[edit]

Is there any reason why the article is Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid as opposed to Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid? Looking at the references it doesn't appear that sources use a capital. SmartSE (talk) 12:45, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Gamma is not considered as a word, it's just the Greek letter γ written out. The first English letter of an article title is always capitalized unless there's a trademark reason not to do it (Wikipedia:Article titles) and the specific guideline for chemical articles clarifies that non-letter prefixes are not considered as the first "letter" for purposes of article-title capitalization (Wikipedia:Naming conventions (chemistry)). The real name would be "γ-Hydroxybutyric acid" if starting actual article pages-names with Greek letters were not discouraged for various reasons. You actually can go to Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid and you'll be at the article as expected. DMacks (talk) 13:31, 11 June 2012 (UTC)