Xyrem: My Daily Life

In July 2010 I weighed 198 pounds.  I am 41 years old and I stand 5′ 8″ tall.  According to the charts that I have seen I was obese or over weight.  As of this writing, I weight 160 pounds which is in the “normal” weight range for my height.  I think that Xyrem/GHB has played a significant role in my weight loss.  After starting Xyrem my depression and anxiety vanished overnight and I had the energy and motivation to go to the gym every day.  Xyrem also has significant appetite suppression qualities and the increase in human growth hormones produced by taking Xyrem for insomnia definitely triggers metabolic release of stored fat.

To be honest, I cannot attribute all of my positive changes to Xyrem alone.  I take a a variety of supplements and I will discuss each of them here.

My day begins with drinking a shake of Professional Strength Muscle Building Milk Shake Elite Series, purchased at Wal Mart.  This contains 33 grams of protein and actually tastes good.  I then take the following supplements:

  • SAMe – 400 mg
  • 5-HTP – 100 mg
  • DHEA – 50 mg
  • Fish Oil – 1600 mg
  • Flaxseed Oil – 1600 mg
  • Borage Oil – 800 mg
  • GNC Ultra Mega Gold Multivitamin

This is my morning routine every day.

Click this link for a list of products:  Amazon.com

At noon I normally have an Equate Nutritional Drink and Odwalla SuperFood drink.  These normally provide enough energy to make it through the day, but on days that are exceptionally demanding I might have another Odwalla SuperFood drink around 3:00 pm.

Then I go to the gym at 6:00 pm and follow this workout:

  • Day 1:    Running 20 minutes on Elliptical Cross-Training Machine
    Weight training:  Arms
    Abs: Hanging Straps or Roman Chair
  • Day 2:    Running 20 minutes on Elliptical Cross-Training Machine
    Weight training:  Chest and Back
  • Day 3:    Weight training:  Legs
  • Day 4:    Running 20 minutes on Elliptical Cross-Training Machine
    Weight training:  Arms
    Abs: Hanging Straps or Roman Chair
  • Day 5:    REST
  • Day 6:    Running 20 minutes on Elliptical Cross-Training Machine
    Weight training:  Chest and Back
  • Day 7:    Weight training:  Legs

After each workout I drink a Creatine supplement.  It is Professional Strength Creatine x3 Elite Series from Wal Mart and it contains 8,120 mg of creatine complex.

I am considering taking a weekly yoga or pilates class to improve balance and flexibility.

Then at around 7:30 I eat a reasonable meal.  Some days that is steak and potatoes and some days it is lasagna.  I really eat whatever I want for the “big meal” as long as it is done no later than 8:00 pm.

Then at 9:30 I take 3.5 – 4 grams of Xyrem/GHB and go to bed.  I normally awake at 2:00 am when I take another 3.5 – 4 grams of Xyrem.  I normally awake at 6:30 am feeling rested and refreshed and ready to go out and conquer the world.

As with most things in life, your mileage may vary, but I am losing weight, building muscle and feeling better at 41 than I did at 21.  I am emotionally fit.  I am physically fit and I would not trade my previous life for this one for ANYTHING.

So, to all the anti-GHB people:  You can kiss my ass!  There is a special place in Hell for people who seek to deprive others of this natural, life-improving substance.

GHB: The Lies and The Truth

Ok, I have been toying with the idea of writing this article for some time and the more I think about it the more I feel compelled to go forward.  So here it is.  The ugly truth about GHB the “Date Rape Drug” that many people simply do not want to read.

Before I delve into this overly sensitive topic, let me preface by saying that I have been taking GHB daily, in the form of Xyrem, for the past 4 months.  I am under a doctors treatment for insomnia and I take between 6 and 9 grams per night, depending on the amount of sleep that I need.

I started taking GHB in October 2010 because none of the popular/traditional sleep aids offered anything but temporary relief from my chronic insomnia.  I took Ambien and while it did induce sleep in the beginning, I quickly became tolerant and in the end it simply stopped working all together.  Next, I was prescribed Rozerum which had absolutely no effect.  Next was Lunesta.  Wow… Lunesta provided some sleep but totally destroyed my short term memory.  At one point, I could have a meeting on Thursday and by Friday I could recall that I had been in a meeting but could not tell you any of the topics that were discussed.  Since my job relies heavily on new ideas and creativity this mental impairment caused by Lunesta was unacceptable.  The Lunesta fiasco culminated with an 11 hours block of missing memory where I drove my car and withdrew money from the bank; all with no conscious awareness.  This scared the Hell out of me and I began my search for an alternative.

Needless to say, I was also battling serious depression and chronic anxiety.  I was on the back side of a divorce.  The insomnia was causing me very serious problems at work and my relationship with me teen daughter was practically non-existent.  I had become a “sleep zombie”.  Sleep (or the lack there of) was my constant mental burden.  Either I had not slept in days and therefore the desire for sleep was my ever present thought, or I had a “good night”, which would be 3 to 4 hours of sleep, which caused my constant thoughts to revolve around when I would get to sleep the next night.  I would sleep 2 or 3 hours, then go 2 or 3 days with no sleep, then maybe another 2 or 3 hours.  My weekends were always the same.  I would come home from work, go to bed about 7:00 PM on Friday and get up about 3:00 PM on Saturday afternoon.  Then I would go to bed about 3:00 AM Saturday night and sleep until around 10:00 AM to Noon.  The Sunday night would start the new cycle of insomnia, depression and anxiety.  I was going crazy in more ways than I care to recall.  Then my research paid off in the form of the following paragraph:

Medical use of GHB

From the date it was synthesized it has been used as a general anesthetic, and a hypnotic in the treatment of insomnia. GHB has also been used to treat clinical depression, and improve athletic performance. Food and Drug Administration have permitted the use of GHB under the trade name Xyrem in patients with narcolepsy, a form of sleep disorder. GHB is also used in the treatment of alcoholism. It is used to treat both, acute alcohol withdrawal and medium to long term detoxification.

I had some passing familiarity with GHB.  I knew that when I was going to the gym in California I had heard bodybuilders talking about it and how it promoted muscle growth and relaxation and how GHB would speed recovery time after a hard workout.  I also remember hearing ravers talking about taking GHB and dancing all night or taking GHB and having marathon sex sessions, and I recall both groups saying that if you took too much “G” you would go into a very deep sleep.  The words very deep sleep activated the same areas of my brain that would be activated had I heard you just won the lottery.  My new goal became learning everything I could about GHB.  Fortunately, insomnia gives you countless hours to do research.  While the rest of the world was sleeping I was on the trail of good sleep and I was closing in faster by the minute.

As I researched GHB and it’s legal incarnation Xyrem, a polarity quickly emerged.  The PWN (People With Narcolepsy) over at the Talk About Sleep Forum were raving about Xyrem and how it changed lives and gave them the lives that they had only dreamed of  having.  Then the anti-GHB crowd at Project GHB railed about the dangers of GHB, deaths, rapes, and serious GHB Withdrawal Syndrome.  People in one camp are taking GHB for extended periods and stopping cold turkey for months with no adverse side effects or withdrawals and people in another camp are voicing concerns about addiction and deadly consequences for mistreated withdrawal.

There are three sides to every story, her side, his side, and the truth. ~ Unknown

In the Xyrem/GHB debate there are three obvious sides.  The pro-GHB side, which is populated with alternative medicine, anti-aging and bodybuilding members, claims that GHB is natural, and when use properly, safe and non-addictive.   They cite over 30 years of international research and decades of over-the-counter sales of GHB in American health food stores.  The present a very compelling argument for the safety and efficacy of GHB.

On the polar opposite end of the debate are the anti-GHB people who are composed largely of law enforcement and some medical professionals that present case histories in stark contrast to those presented by the other side.  The anti-GHB camp publishes anecdotal reports of addiction, withdrawal and sometimes death, but rarely present any cold hard facts.  Nothing highlights this stark contrast more than the case of Hillory J. Farias.  Hillory was the poster child for the dangers of Date Rape and was honored in death by sharing the name of the “Date Rape Bill” signed by President Cllinton.  Hillory is still prominently listed on the Project GHB website as a GHB fatality.  The problem with this is that it has been proved that Hillory J. Farias never consumed any GHB and her death was caused by a genetic heart defect.

So those are the 2 sides.  Truth can be found in the middle.

In my family there are a large number of police officers.  I remember my Dad once saying, “The streets don’t lie.”  He said that if a significant number of people on the street tell you that the blue house on the block has a stolen car in the garage the chances of finding a car thief are amazingly high.

People are generally very open and honest about their day to day experiences in life and when they have nothing to gain by bending the facts, you can often find the best truth.  The group in the middle of the GHB/Xyrem propaganda war are those prescribed Xyrem.

Here is a question posed by me on the Talk About Sleep forum:

In the months that you skipped Xyrem due to price did you suffer any of the “GHB withdrawal” symptoms?

Here is a reply:

I stop and restart all the time, whenever hubby is out of town. No withdrawl at all.

Another Xyrem user stated the following, “I have skipped months due to price increases. That would be May 2009, and October of 2008.”  This user has never reported any adverse side effects associated with suddenly stopping the medication.

What is GHB Withdrawal Syndrome?

I am not sure, because I have never met or talked to anyone who has any first hand knowledge.  In fact, GHB Withdrawal Syndrome seems to be somewhat of an enigma.  All of the information seems to be second hand at best.  Here is what I have found.

GHB Withdrawal Symptoms:

  • delirium
  • auditory and visual hallucinations
  • disorientation
  • severe agitation

I am not a doctor.  The only things I have to go by are my research skills and my life experience, which I will relate to you here and you are free to draw your own conclusions.

In December 2010, I decided to drive the 1400 miles from my home to visit my family in another part of the country.  As you can imagine, driving that distance took more than one day.  Prior to embarking on the trip I had been exchanging email with one of the most public and outspoken GHB opponents.  This person told me that it was not a matter of if GHB would turn on me, but a matter of when it would happen.  I must admit that I had slight trepidation about the abrupt GHB cessation necessary to drive 2800 miles round trip.  Without boring you with the uneventful details, I will say that I made the 36 hour trip in both directions without any GHB in my system and without any sudden onset of delirium, auditory and visual hallucinations, disorientation, and severe agitation.

Why did I not experience ANY of the effects reportedly associated with abrupt GHB cessation?

Some would argue that I am not on a 24/7 dosing schedule.

Ok, I have read reports of people taking 2 to 3 grams of GHB every 3 to 4 hours.  That would be 16 to 18 grams a day.  I regularly take 9 grams per day and sometimes take as much as 13.5.  Is there really that much difference?

Until I see a clinical report on someone that has been treated for GHB Withdrawal I am going to withhold judgment.   As far as my experience goes; I strongly doubt that is exists.

Xyrem Side Effect: Re-framing Night Sweats

I, like many people taking Xyrem, often experience annoying night sweats.  These episodes range from mildly annoying to complete bed-drenching, waking up soaking wet – Night Sweats.

I have found a way to reframe these events in a way that makes them easier to deal with.  Instead of thinking of they are an annoyance, I see them as a clear indication that I am burning fat while I sleep.  See, in addition to the treatment of insomnia, I enjoy Xyrem for one of it’s more notable side effects.  Before the FDA and DEA demonized GHB (Xyrem) it was used by body builders as a fat burner and growth hormone releaser (HGH).  I can attest to these beneficial side effects as I have lost over 30 pounds and have increased energy and vitality.  I go to the gym every day and exercise and lift weights.

Not only has Xyrem given me control over my sleeping, but the side effects are giving me a much better quality of life.

Xyrem Side Effects: A weighty issue…

I started taking Xyrem in October 2010.  A few months prior to taking this medication, I joined a gym because I was putting on some unwanted weight.  I am 40 years old and in July 2010, I weighed 198 pounds.  At 5′ 8″ tall I felt that was just too heavy and I was not feeling as good as I would have liked.

I went to the gym irregularly from July through September and never really saw any improvements.  Keep in mind that my anxiety and depression were at their peak during this same time.  In late July I had scored 28 on the Beck Depression Inventory, which is very high, approaching clinical depression.

In October, I started taking Xyrem and within a few days I had the energy that was necessary to get back in the gym and start working out.  Here is where some of the Xyrem side effects actually pay a dividend.  The appetite suppression and the HGH (Human Growth Hormone) release make getting into good physical condition a pleasure.  I have practically ZERO post workout muscle pain, because (I believe) when I sleep my muscles are so completely relaxed that they have the opportunity to heal properly.  This lack of muscle pain might also be attributed to the HGH release.  Perhaps the increase of growth hormones is promoting muscle growth and healing and that eliminates the post workout pain that I have always known.

In short, in October I was still weighing about 195 pounds and as of this writing I weigh 165 and am feeling better every day.  I am not going to call Xyrem (GHB) the fountain of youth, just yet.  I still have some research to complete, but initial observations suggest that my insomnia, or at least the drug that treats it, may save my body, mind, life and health.

Not Every Night Is A Great Night

Just like with anyone, people who take Xyrem for sleep disorders do not have wonderful, magical sleep every night.  last night was one of those nights for me, but it was more my fault than the fault of Xyrem.

In preparing for the Christmas travel season, I called one of my relatives right after taking my Xyrem and we talked on the phone until the effect had waned.  This left me with the choice of taking the 2nd does and sleeping maybe 4 hours or staying up until 2:00 am and then taking the 2nd dose and sleeping for maybe 4 hours.  I chose to take the 2nd dose at 12:30 am and see how much sleep I could get.  I slept until 4:18 am, then I awoke and knew that I could not take another dose because I was too close to 6:00 am to be able to get the Xyrem totally out of my system before starting the day.  So today I am working on a little lest than 4 hours of sleep.  But guess what?  I feel much better and more functional than before Xyrem when I would get 3 – 4 hours of crappy insomnia sleep.

It makes me a little angry that I did this, but I had not talked to this relative in many years.  To me, sleep is a very precious thing and my nightly sleep preparation ritual is very important to me.  It is through this new found rest that so many aspects of my life have changed for the better that I am disappointed in myself for allowing it to slip away last night.  The good news is that tonight is a new night and I will get my full measure of sweet sleep!

Xyrem Side Effect

All medications have side effects.  All drug manufactures and marketers try to downplay them, but they are very real.  The interesting thing about Xyrem (GHB) is that many of the side effects are positive.  I will give my perspective on a few of them.

Xyrem has a major effect on depression.  Before being prescribed Xyrem for insomnia, I took the Beck Depression Inventory at the behest of a mental health professional.  I scored 27, which is on the high side of moderate depression approaching the lower side of severe.  After having taken Xyrem for 3 weeks I took the Beck Depression Inventory again and scored 5, which is in the middle of the range for people who are experiencing minimal depression.

Depression and anxiety go hand-in-hand with insomnia, at least for me.  The antidepressant qualities of Xyrem are absolutely amazing.  In addition to the improvement in mood, I have also observed my level of anxiety simply vanish.

There is another positive side effect and that is weight loss.  At my heaviest, in July 2010, I weighed 198 pounds.  I am male, 40 years old, and stand 5-8.  Nearly 200 pounds was a little on the chubby side.  I went to the gym last night to workout (something I was not doing because of the insomnia, depression and anxiety) and I weight 169 pounds, much closer to a healthy weight.  I ran for 20 minutes within my target heart rate zone, then did upper body weights and abs.  Normally, after such a vigorous workout, I would be feeling the pain from punishing my muscles so severely, but once again, GHB lives up to the hype.  My muscles feel great, with the slightest tingle that lets me know I had a good workout.  I believe that is due to the massive muscle relaxation properties and the HGH (Human Growth Hormone) release.

There are some side effects that are less than pleasant, but they seem to have run their course with me.  When I first started taking Xyrem I had some stomach problems, such as cramps and diarrhea.  When I was trying to find the right dose I had some mornings that I woke tired and groggy.  I even had one day where I fell asleep at my desk, but once I found the “sweet spot” in terms of dosage all of those negative issues simply went away.

The may be purely subjective, but since taking Xyrem I have an overall sense of peace and well being.  I can sit in traffic and be at peace with the idiotic actions of those around me.  I am in what I can only describe as a state of moving meditation – bliss!

Ordered my 1st refill today.

Well I have been taking Xyrem for one month.  I ordered my 2nd shipment today (Friday) and it will be here tomorrow on FedEx.  It cost me $351.00 out of pocket and Express Scripts tells me that I will get some of that back in the form of a co-pay assistance program.  Apparently, Jazz Pharma is not out to rape the patients, just the insurance companies and Medicare.  I still do not agree with charging that much for something that costs pennies to produce.

The first prescription I ordered cost me $550.00 out of pocket, of which I am still waiting on the 80% reimbursement from my insurance company.  This last prescription costs me $350.00, after the insurance company agreed to allow me to only pay my 20% to the pharmacy.  So, in 2 months, I am out $900.00 and still have not seen one thin dime from my insurance.

All of this really puts a bee in my bonnet when I think that the bottle the Xyrem comes in cost more to produce than the Xyrem in the bottle, yet Jazz is allowed to charge thousands of dollars for something that used to be available at your local General Nutrition Center.

Wake up America (and the world), GHB is not an evil ‘date rape drug’! Ambien is both dangerous and the up and coming date rape drug of choice.

Xyrem Alternative


As many fibromyalgia sufferers already know, Jazz Pharmaceuticals request for approval of their effective yet controversial drug Xyrem for the treatment of fibromyalgia was rejected by the FDA.  Not only was this a blow to the millions of fibromyalgia sufferers, but it was a blow to current Xyrem patients because as a result of the refusal Jazz increased the price of Xyrem by 22% pushing the one-month cost to well over $3000.00.

Are there alternatives?

The simple answer is, Yes!  There are other substances that when ingested produce the same effects as Xyrem.  These products are readily available in many countries and for a much lower cost than that of Xyrem.

In order to understand this issue one must understand what Xyrem is.  Xyrem is not some major medical breakthrough that can be credited to Orphan/Jazz Pharma.  In fact, Xyrem is noting more than Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), the ‘date rape drug‘.  GHB has been used in a variety of contexts for over 30 years and has some very beneficial health effects.

So if Xyrem is simply GHB, I can just buy and use GHB as a Xyrem alternative, right?

Unfortunately for Xyrem patients and VERY fortunately for Jazz Pharma, GHB has been placed on Schedule I by the United States Government.  This means that if you are caught with GHB you will be facing some very serious legal problems.

Ok, if Xyrem is GHB and GHB is illegal unless you buy it from Jazz Pharma, what alternatives are available?

I am glad that you asked.  We simply need to move one branch higher on GHB’s chemical family tree to find a brother and a cousin that will work perfectly as a substitute for GHB/Xyrem.

The Brother:  gamma-Butyrolactone (γ-butyrolactone or GBL)

GBL is the closest to GHB that you will possibly find.  GBL is a precursor to GHB, which means that it can be converted simply and directly into GHB.  The great thing about GBL is that you do not need a degree in chemistry to convert it into GHB; your body will do all of the work for you.  That’s right, you can ingest GBL and enzymes in your body will synthesize it into GHB.  Sounds great, right?

Reliable source for ordering GBL online.

This site has been reviewed and found to be honest and reliable.

There is one problem, gamma-Butyrolactone is a List I “watched” chemical in the US.  This means that all purchases of GBL must be reported to the DEA.

The Cousin:  1,4-Butanediol (BDO)

1.4B or BDO is a chemical cousin to GHB and it can be ingested and is converted in the liver by the enzymes alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase.  There are anecdotal reports of potential liver damage associated with the use of BDO, but none have been reported or proven.  These subjective theories are rooted in the fact that BDO is converted by the same liver process as alcohol.  It is worth mentioning that the average replacement dose of DBO would be less than 10 ml per day, while a standard shot of 90 proof alcohol contains 20 ml of ethanol that must be processed by the liver.  One could argue that a single shot of alcohol places 2x the strain on the liver as one dose of BDO.

One of the steps is catalyzed by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase—the same enzyme that metabolizes alcohol. Alcohol inhibits the conversion of BD to GHB by competing for the enzyme.  However BD is not hard on the kidneys or liver as it is entirely converted to GHB.  Therefore you can take the supplements you inquired about although they are not necessary nor will they interfere with BDs conversion to GHB.

Ward Dean M.D.

I can tell you that many people have been taking 1,4 Butanediol for many years and I have never read a single report indicating that it is anything but a wonderful, healthful replacement for GHB/Xyrem.  The people that have problems are the same people that had problems with GHB – the abusers and the party crowd.

This domestic supplier offers free shipping and overnight delivery.

So which do I order as a replacement for Xyrem?

That all depends on your level of adventure.  If you order a List I chemical (GBL), from a US supplier, you run the risk of having to answer some uncomfortable questions from men in black.  If you order GBL from an international source you run the risk of US Customs confiscating your order.  The GBL supplier listed above reports over 90% ship through rate to the USA.  That means that less than 1 out of every 10 orders is delayed.

If you order 1,4 BDO from a domestic source you are using the safest of all the possible solutions.  The 1,4 BDO source listed above offers free ground shipping and overnight for only $20.

The author of this article has no association or affiliation with any of the sites listed in this article.  The author is not condoning the use of any product mentioned in this article.  The information contained herein is presented strictly and purely for educational purposes.  What you decide to do with what you learn here is your business and your responsibility.