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Narcolepsy – Sodium Oxybate

January 13, 2021
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Transcript

"The final drug that's used is called Xyrem or sodium oxidate. It's a mineral salt that is dry from GHB. And this was actually used in popular in the news several years ago, as the date rape drug, very controversial drug, but it's actually marketed specifically for narcoleptics with excessive daytime sleepiness, even though they may be treated in other ways or narcoleptics with cataplexy. And it's given as a liquid preparation, that's very salty. So it's taken first thing before bed and then four hours later, a second dose is actually administered. So there's an alarm and one actually wakes up out of sleep and takes a second dose. Nobody's going to be able to put it into your cocktail because it's so salty. So we feel that it's safer that way everybody would taste it. So it can't be really used as a drug of abuse, the person taking it will absolutely know, but it's short acting.

It only lasts for 20 to 40 minutes and the goal is to make sleep better quality. Even though we actually wake up people in the middle of the night to take the second dose, they get more consolidated sleep at night. So they have a better daytime functioning. They're more rested. So it's kind of an unusual thing to do. It's a considered an orphan drug. It's only provided by a centralized pharmacy and you have to enroll in a complicated program to get it, but it's a unique way of treating narcolepsy by making the nighttime sleep better. So the daytime functioning is better too."