Gamma-OH and Naloxone

Steven B. Harris sbharris at
Sat Aug 15 02:18:00 EST 1998

In <35d2e272.257297 at> patanie at writes: 
>Neurosci Lett 1997 Mar 7;224(1):71-74 
>Naloxone reverses the inhibitory effect of
>gamma-hydroxybutyrate on central DA release in vivo in
>awake animals: a microdialysis study.
>Feigenbaum JJ, Howard SG
>Department of Research and Development, American Institute of
>Biotechnology, Elk Grove Village,
>IL 60007-1462, USA. 
>gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a 4-carbon anesthetic that acts
>primarily by inhibiting presynaptic
>dopamine (DA) release in vivo. 

   Nonsense.  GHB causes none of the expect effects of a an
antidopaminergic.  No stiffness, no Parkinsonian symptoms, no
flattening of affect, no blunting of emotions.  It's not a THING like
any neuroleptic.  If anything, its effects in vivo somewhat resemble
gabanergics, such as gabapentin.  But since GHB is a bonafide
neurotransmitter, I imagine that most of its effect is via acting on
receptors made just for it.  In short, it's a brand new class of drug
(in the US, at least), with new effects.  

   At appropriate doses it's a short lived disinhibitor, something like
alcohol.  It causes cravings and hunger for carbohydrates, something
like serotonin blockers and THC.  It causes drowsiness and intellectual
blunting, again like alcohol, but without respiratory depression,
somewhat like ketamine.  But it doesn't cause the violence in adults
which can be a result of ketamine and NMDA blockers in general.  In
some ways, it acts like nitrous oxide-- a pure anaesthetic delivered in
subanaesthetic doses.  And that is how it's used in Europe, among many
other things.  It's an excellent hypnotic, but only if used carefully
(you have to take it IN bed, and vow not to get out until you're
                                          Steve Harris, M.D.  

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list