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Known interactions

No interactions found.

Using of Xyrem

Brand Name(s): Xyrem

Generic Name Sodium Oxybate

What is sodium oxybate oral solution?

SODIUM OXYBATE (Xyrem®) is a medication that can help with excessive sleepiness from narcolepsy or other medical conditions. This drug can make it easier to participate in daytime activities. Sodium oxybate is especially useful for individuals who suffer from cataplexy associated with narcolepsy; cataplexy causes a sudden muscle weakness due to a strong emotional response. This medicine is not available in retail pharmacies. Your prescriber will enroll you in a program that will provide the drug to you. Federal law prohibits giving this medication to any person other than the person for whom it was prescribed. Do not share this medicine with anyone else. Generic sodium oxybate is not yet available.

What should my health care professional know before I take sodium oxybate?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • if you frequently drink alcohol containing beverages
  • if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • depression, psychosis or other mood disorders
  • heart disease
  • heart failure
  • high blood pressure
  • irregular heart beat
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • lung disease or difficulty breathing
  • seizures
  • succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency
  • suffer from memory loss
  • thoughts of suicide
  • urinary incontinence
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to sodium oxybate, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I take this medicine?

Take sodium oxybate by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

You will prepare both of your nightly doses prior to bedtime. Each dose should be measured only with the special oral syringe provided and each dose should then be placed into the cups provided with your prescription. Next, dilute each dose with 2 ounces (60 ml) of water. The dosing cups should then be capped to activate the child-resistant closure until time of use. Place both prepared doses by your bedside. You should not take this medicine with food; it will not work as well for you if taken with food. You should eat well before (i.e., several hours prior) going to sleep and taking the first bedtime dose. Take the first dose at bedtime, while sitting in bed, then lie down and remain in bed after the dose. Take the second dose 2.5 to 4 hours after the first dose. You will need to set an alarm to awaken for the second dose. Take the second dose while in bed. Lie down and remain in bed after the dose.

Remember: Your prescription for sodium oxybate is only for you. You should never share or give your sodium oxybate prescription to anyone else.

Your prescriber will give you information about this drug before you begin to take it. Make sure to read this information. If you have any questions, talk to your prescriber.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

Skip the missed dose. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What drug(s) may interact with sodium oxybate?

Do not take sodium oxybate with any of the following:

  • alcohol-containing beverages
  • medicines commonly used for anxiety, sedation or insomnia (difficulty sleeping)

Sodium oxybate may also interact with:

  • bupropion
  • cocaine
  • dronabinol or marijuana
  • medicines for psychosis or severe mood disturbances
  • muscle relaxants
  • other stimulants, although these are commonly used with sodium oxybate
  • phenytoin
  • ritonavir
  • saquinavir
  • prescription pain medicines, including tramadol
  • trimethobenzamide

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from taking sodium oxybate?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • confusion
  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, or a fast heartbeat
  • increased blood pressure, particularly if you already have high blood pressure
  • memory loss
  • skin rash, itching, hives, or other allergic reactions
  • seizures
  • sleepwalking
  • tremor or shaking movements
  • urinary incontinence

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • increased urination
  • nausea, vomiting or stomach upset
  • unusual dreams

What should I watch for while taking sodium oxybate?

The use of sodium oxybate needs careful supervision. Patients with narcolepsy can be helped, but not cured, by sodium oxybate treatment. Occasionally this drug is used for other purposes. Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Your prescriber will regularly ask about any side effects you have noticed. Do not stop taking except on your prescriber's advice.

Sodium oxybate may affect your concentration or function. Let your prescriber know if you have increased sleepiness or confusion during the day.

Sodium oxybate causes sleep very quickly. You should only take this drug at bedtime, while in bed. Do not drive a car, operate heavy machinery or perform any activities that require mental alertness for at least 6 hours after taking this drug. Use extreme care in any such daily activities until you know how this medicine affects you.

Because alcohol may interfere with sodium oxybate and may cause serious side effects, you must avoid alcohol-containing beverages while on this medication. Do not take sodium oxybate along with sleep medicines or other drugs with strong sedative effects, serious side effects may occur.

Sodium oxybate can be dangerous in overdose. If you take more sodium oxybate than prescribed or take it by accident, get emergency medical help right away.

Do not suddenly stop taking sodium oxybate if you have been taking it for a long time. Withdrawal symptoms may occur. Your prescriber may need to slowly stop your doses.

If you are going to have surgery, notify your health care provider that you are taking sodium oxybate.

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep this medication in a safe place where others cannot get to it. Keep out of the reach of children and pets in a container that small children cannot open.

Store at room temperature between 15 degrees and 30 °C (59 degrees and 86 °F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date by pouring the expired medicine down the drain.


(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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