Back in the ’80s, bodybuilders used GHB to sleep better and increase growth hormone levels, and in the ’90s, frat boys used the same stuff to make unresponsive coeds more pliable – leading to the drug’s widespread reputation as a date rape drug, and its ultimate classification as a schedule I narcotic by the year 2000. N0w it’s available as a prescription drug for narcolepsy under the brand name Xyrem, from Jazz Pharmaceuticals.Infamous steroid-guru Dan Duchaine did a bit of time in jail for the manufacture and sale of GHB back in the early 1990s, on mislabeling and conspiracy charges.
And, now a recent study performed in The Netherlands, has confirmed that GHB has the ability to significantly elevate growth hormone levels in both narcoleptics as well as healthy patients.
Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Mar 29. [Epub ahead of print]
The effect of sodium oxybate on growth hormone secretion in narcolepsy patients and healthy controls.
Donjacour CE, Aziz NA, Roelfsema F, Frolich M, Overeem S, Lammers GJ, Pijl H.
Source: 1Leiden University Medical Center.
Hypocretin deficiency causes narcolepsy and may affect neuroendocrine systems and body composition. Additionally growth hormone (GH) alterations my influence weight in narcolepsy. Symptoms can be treated effectively with sodium oxybate (SXB, gamma-hydroxybutyrate) in many patients. This study compared growth hormone secretion in patients and matched controls and established the effect of SXB administration on GH and sleep in both groups. Eight male hypocretin deficient narcolepsy with cataplexy and eight controls matched for sex, age, BMI, waist-to-hip ratio,and fat percentage were enrolled. Blood was sampled before and on the 5(th) day of SXB administration. SXB was taken 2 times 3g per night for 5 consecutive nights. Both groups underwent 24-h blood sampling at 10- min intervals for measurement of GH concentrations. The GH concentration time series were analyzed with AutoDecon, and approximate entropy (ApEn). Basal and pulsatile GH secretion, pulse regularity and frequency, as well as ApEn values were similar in patients and controls. Administration of SXB caused a significant increase in total 24 hour GH secretion rate in narcolepsy patients, but not in controls. After SXB, slow wave sleep (SWS) and, importantly, the cross-correlation between GH levels and SWS more than doubled in both groups. In conclusion, SXB leads to a consistent increase in nocturnal GH secretion and strengthens the temporal relation between GH secretion and SWS. These data suggest that SXB may alter somatotropic tone in addition to its consolidating effect on nighttime sleep in narcolepsy. This could explain the suggested non-sleep effects of SXB, including body weight reduction.