Although Xyrem (sodium oxybate) failed to gain FDA approval for the treatment of fibromyalgia, it is sometimes prescribed off-label to treat the sleep problems that commonly accompany FM. Thus far, Xyrem only has FDA approval to reduce attacks of muscle weakness (cataplexy) and treat daytime sleepiness in patients with narcolepsy.
This week the FDA reminded both healthcare professionals and patients that the combined use of Xyrem with alcohol or central nervous system (CNS) depressant drugs can markedly impair consciousness and may lead to severe breathing problems (respiratory depression). The use of alcohol with Xyrem is a new contraindication added to the Xyrem label.
In addition to alcohol, medications that should be avoided when taking Xyrem include:
Sedating antidepressants or antipsychotics
The use of Xyrem along with these products or other CNS depressants increase...
Many of our moods depend on our nervous system. Too much or too little of the chemicals that speed things up or slow things down and the whole thing can go out of kilter. The basis of many of our medications is to correct these imbalances. In this Sharepost I’m taking a look at just a handful of the essential neurotransmitters and the way they work?
Glutamate and GABA can be thought of as mainstay neurotransmitters. They slog away in high concentrations within the brain where one (glutamate) is the throttle and the other (GABA) acts as the brake. Glutamate has an important role in learning and memory but too much and it can lead to agitation, impulsive behavior and even violence. GABA has the opposite effect. It increases our levels of tranquility by inhibiting too much nerve activity. Some of the most frequently used drugs for anxiety enhance the action of GABA.
Serotonin is all about serenity and hopefulness in moods. The latest generation of SSRI drugs, su...
This month, the media carried reports of a scientific study that challenged the notion of serotonin’s role in depression, which in turn casts doubts about the use of SSRI antidepressants to treat the illness.
The similar wording of these reports suggests that the reporters were engaging in a copy-and-paste of the same press release. Let’s go beyond the press release ...
First, the monoamine hypothesis ...
Serotonin is a monoamine class of neurotransmitter. Monoamine refers to the neurotransmitter’s chemical composition. Two other monoamines (falling into a subclass called catecholamines) include dopamine and norepinephrine.
As we know, neurotransmitters act as chemical signals between neurons. Neurons, in turn, organize into complex pathways that prompt specific thoughts and emotions and reactions. Serotonin is strongly linked to mood, and - make no mistake about this - no study is about to unseat that notion.
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