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Re: extended release xyrem

Posted by Anthony Quest on June 26, 2004, at 23:47:01

In reply to Re: extended release xyrem utopizen, posted by jerrympls on June 25, 2004, at 1:34:53

(1) Few Things Are Intrinsically Evil

All the drugs you list have legitimate safe uses. Xanax while rarely the drug of choice for anyone, can be very effective and helpful for a lot of people. Because a drug can be misused or causes side effects is not a reason to ban it, but control it and ensure that the only those who truly need it have access, and only when closely monitored by a doctor.

(2) Xyrem is only approved for cataplexy

The FDA has approved Xyrem for cataplexy in patients with narcolepsy. Period. While physicians can prescribe off-label, if they want to prescribe Xyrem, they must register with the only pharmacy in the nation that dispenses it, patients have to be in a database, watch a safety video, and receive shipments via FedEx in person every month. The number of people who are receiving it off-label is extremely small and limited primarily if not exclusively to those with severe sleep disorders that fall outside the diagnostic criteria for narcolepsy yet are likely to clinically benefit.

(3) Short half-life can be good

One of the reasons Xyrem is ideal for sleep is precisely because of it's short half life. While it is presently too short requiring a second dose, it does not have any morning hangover effect which is not something that can be said for many sleep agents on the market. The clinical data from the patient population has shown NO dependence in people using it nightly for sleep.

(4) Xyrem is not going to be available for social anxiety

There are no clinical trials for this purpose. If there were one tomorrow - which there won't be - it would still be several years until Xyrem were approved for this purpose.

The political reality is Xyrem is going to be an incredibly controlled drug available only to those with severe sleep problems and perhaps fibromyalgia. The company knows that if it becomes the next Xanax, Congress will take away its right to make the drug as CSA-III substance.

(5) Every drug is cost-benefit decision for the individual

You generalize from your own bad experience with Xyrem and seem to conclude it would be horrible for anyone. I have benefitted and I know many other people have. Through the luck of genetics, I do not get nausea and it doesn't make me vomit, all it does is allow me to sleep, wonderful restful, deep wave sleep that no other drug has been able to give me.

It has also allowed me to decrease the dexedrine I was taking daily from 60 mg to 20 mg. This is common for those with severe hypersomnia who are finally able to get restful sleep with Xyrem and spares some of the side-effects of prolonged high dose amphetamine use.

I don't mean to demean your own negative experience with Xyrem. I have drugs that I hate too, and I agree it seems very dumb to take during the day for social anxiety. No one I have heard has suggested this, the government would not approve it, and any doctor who did so would probably lose her license. It's a moot point.

It's an important drug for people with narcolepsy and severe hypersomnia and could benefit other severely impaired people who would be willing to tolerate the inconvient dosing and side effects. It's not a panacea for anxiety.




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