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[Gamma-hydroxybutyrate--an endogenous substance and a new central nervous system stimulant. Clinical aspects of acute poisoning].

Ugeskrift for Laeger 1999 December 14
During the last six months, the Poison Control Centre at Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark, has observed an increasing number of patients intoxicated with GHB, a drug of abuse. The patients are often admitted to the emergency ward shortly after having taken the drug, unconscious or comatose. If younger patients present with these symptoms, intoxication with GHB should be seriously considered. The effects are seen within 15 to 30 minutes after oral ingestion of the drug. Spontaneous recovery usually occurs within three to five hours. The most common effects are mild euphoria, sedation, vomiting, somnolence, bradycardia, aggressive behaviour, apnoea, respiratory depression, and coma. Normally the patient breathes adequately, but insufficient respiration may occur and deaths have been described. The drug is often consumed together with alcohol and other drugs of abuse, which strengthens the effect of GHB. Treatment is symptomatic. A review of the literature with special emphasis on clinical effects included toxicology and treatment is given.

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