- Japanese Association for Acute Medicine
- 日本救急医学会雑誌 (ISSN:0915924X)
- vol.12, no.4, pp.190-194, 2001-04-15 (Released:2009-03-27)
A middle-aged man was found unconscious at apartment after ingesting gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) purchased via the internet sales and was admitted to our critical care center. He underwent gastric irrigation and respiratory assistance with intubation at the emergency room due to a probable drug overdose and respiratory acidosis. After fully recovering, he admitted he had taken large doses of GHB with alcohol. The US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) banned GHB sale as an OTC drug in 1991 but has not succeeded in controlling increased GHB addiction. Unconsciousness, coma, hypothermia, bradycardia, hypotention, muscle weakness, myoclonus, convulsion, respiratory distress, and vomiting are common symptoms after GHB ingestion. Treatment such as gastric irrigation, atropine for bradycardia, and respiratory assistance in hypoxia are recommended. Little attention is paid to GHB in Japan because of its rarity and its sale is not illegal, unlike the strict restrictions in the US and European countries. With GHB available over the Internet, its abuse is expected to increase.