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Keywords:

  • gamma-hydroxybutyrate;
  • gamma-butyrolactone;
  • 1,4-butanediol;
  • poisoning;
  • recreational drugs;
  • drugs of abuse;
  • dependency;
  • withdrawal

Abstract

Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) has been used as a recreational drug since the 1990s and over the last few years there has been increasing use of its analogues gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) and to a lesser extent 1,4-butanediol (1,4BD). This review will summarize the literature on the pharmacology of these compounds; the patterns and management of acute toxicity associated with their use; and the clinical patterns of presentation and management of chronic dependency associated with GHB and its analogues. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.