A case report of GHB and Depression

Steve Gill skg at asis.com
Sat Dec 7 22:19:36 EST 1996

On Mon, 02 Dec 1996 01:21:20 GMT, Cyrano at beehive.twics.com (Claude de
Contrecoeur) wrote:

>A fast acting novel atypical anti-depressant.
>Claude de Contrecoeur has sent me a copy of your message to him and
>if I could send you a reply. I have personally used GHB many times, I
>started after reading Claude's article somewhat over a year ago.
>I was SERIOUSLY depressed, at this time I was taking:
>50mg  Thioridazine (Neuroleptic)
>40mg  Paxil/Deroxat (SSRI) - paroxetine - 
>75mg  Anafranil (TCA) - clomipramine - 
>60mg  Tranxene (Benzodiazepine) - chlorazepate -
>This rather-extreme combination of meds was TOTALLY ineffective, as
>often says my emotions were dulled-out a bit, but nothing more. The
>Neuroleptics had no positive effects, just side effects. The Tranxene
>was helping, but then it's an addictive substance and 60mg/day is
>quite a lot.
>I took GHB for about two weeks, at first I wasn't THAT impressed, of
>course I felt better but then any drug does that. I noticed that my
>condition was really IMPROVED after a couple of days, the depression
>was just gone. This effect lasted a week after stopping the GHB, then
>the depression came back (as I had no more supply of GHB).
>Now I'm feeling better but still have some crisis from time to time,
>GHB still alleviates the depression better than ANYTHING else I know.
>Beside those prescription drugs I have also tried quite anything you
>can get on the black-market, and none of these drugs is really an
>"antidepressant", but GHB is!
>>I mean, if gamma-OH is really the "fastest and most effective
>>anti-depressant to date", then why isn't it's use spreading like
>>wild-fire.  Oh, I know, Doctors don't want to prescribe it...

One of the problems with GHB and other "orphan drugs" is that even if
new applications are found, the non-patentable status of the compound
assures that little money will be spent on clinical research due to
the low profit potential of the medication.
A possible mechanism in the observed antidepressant effects of GHB is
a kind of dopamine or norepinephrine rebound - turnover of these
neurotransmitters increases as the ghb wears off. I've personally
observed a rebound effect (increased alertness or vigilance) after GHB
wears off that feels distinctly like mild DA or NE stimulation. In the
long run, such increases could improve mood and decrease depression.
Similarly, some people respond well to 5-hydroxytryptophan instead of
SSRI's - in the case of GHB however, one would want to be careful of
potential (mild) addiction.

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