Sodium Oxybate

Adult Medication

Brand Names: US


Brand Names: Canada



  • This drug may slow down your breathing too much. Talk with your doctor.
  • Abuse and misuse of this drug by itself or with certain other drugs may cause seizures, slow or shallow breathing, changes in alertness, coma, or death. Talk with your doctor.
  • You may only get this drug through a special program. Talk with your doctor.

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat sudden loss of muscle tone (cataplexy) in patients with narcolepsy.
  • It is used to treat a lot of sleepiness during the day in patients with narcolepsy.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to sodium oxybate or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency.
  • If you drink alcohol or take any drugs that have alcohol.
  • If you are taking any drugs or natural products used for sleep or that may slow your actions. There are many products that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • If you have been taking this drug for many weeks, talk with your doctor before stopping. You may want to slowly stop this drug.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert for at least 6 hours after taking this drug. Avoid these tasks or actions until you feel fully awake.
  • Avoid alcohol or other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
  • After taking this drug, it is likely you will fall asleep very fast (most of the time within 5 to 15 minutes). The time that it takes to fall asleep can change from night to night. Falling asleep all of a sudden when standing or rising from bed has led to falls and the need to go to the hospital. Be sure you take this drug while in bed and lie down right away after taking it. Talk with your doctor.
  • If you are on a low-salt or salt-free diet, talk with your doctor.
  • If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
  • Feeling confused.
  • Change in the way you act.
  • Sleepwalking.
  • Trouble breathing, slow breathing, or shallow breathing.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Dizziness.
  • Feeling sleepy.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Bedwetting.
  • Shakiness.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
  • Take on an empty stomach. Take at least 2 hours after eating.
  • Keep the time the same between the last food of the day and the first dose.
  • Take 2 doses each night.
  • Take at the same time every night.
  • Prepare each dose before going to bed.
  • Mix liquid with 1/4 cup of water.
  • Use within 24 hours after you mix this drug.
  • Place in child-resistant dosing cups on bedside table.
  • Take first dose at bedtime after getting into bed.
  • Space doses by at least 21/2 to 4 hours.
  • Set alarm clock to wake up for second dose.
  • Stay in bed after taking doses.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • If you miss the second dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date



© 2016 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.