GAMMA BUTYROLACTONE (GBL)

OTHER NAME(S):

1,2-Butanolide, 2,3-dihydro furanone, 2(3H)-Furanone Dihydro, 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid Lactone, 4-Butanolide, 4-Butyrolactone, 4-Hydroxybutanoic Acid Lactone, Acide 4-Hydroxybutanoïque Lactone, Butyrolactone, Butyrolactone Gamma, Dihydro-2(3H)-Furanone, Gamma Butirolactona, Gamma Butyrolactone, Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid Lactone, Tetrahydro-2-Furanone.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

Gamma butyrolactone is a chemical. People use it as medicine. Be careful not to confuse gamma butyrolactone (GBL) with gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB).

Despite serious safety concerns and illegality, people take gamma butyrolactone for improving athletic performance, sleep, and sexual performance and pleasure. They also take it for relieving depression and stress, prolonging life, promoting clear thinking, causing relaxation, and releasing growth hormone. GBL is also used to trim fat and as a body- or muscle-builder. Some people take it as a recreational drug.

How does it work?

Gamma butyrolactone is converted in the body to gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) which affects several nerve pathways in the brain.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Causing relaxation.
  • Increasing mental clarity.
  • Relieving depression and stress.
  • Prolonging life.
  • Improving sexual performance and pleasure.
  • Reducing fat.
  • Releasing growth hormone.
  • Improving athletic performance.
  • Improving sleep.
  • As a body-builder or muscle-builder.
  • As a recreational drug.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of gamma butyrolactone for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Gamma butyrolactone (GBL) is UNSAFE. In the US, it is illegal to manufacture or sell GBL or the related products GHB and butanediol (BD).

Use of GBL, or the closely related gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and butanediol (BD), has been linked to deaths and cases of serious side effects. These serious side effects include the inability to control the bowels, vomiting, mental changes, sedation, agitation, combativeness, memory loss, serious breathing and heart problems, fainting, seizures, coma, and death. The effects can be made worse by alcohol or narcotics such as morphine, heroin, and others. Long-term use may lead to withdrawal symptoms including insomnia, tremor, and anxiety.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

GBL is UNSAFE and should not be taken by anyone. Certain people, especially those with the following conditions, are at even more risk for side effects.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: GBL is UNSAFE. If you take it while pregnant or breast-feeding, you will endanger yourself as well as your baby.

Irregular heartbeat: GBL can make this condition worse.

Epilepsy: GBL might cause seizures.

High blood pressure: GBL might make this condition worse.

Surgery: GBL can affect the central nervous system (CNS). There is concern that combining GBL with anesthesia and other medications used during and after surgery might slow down the CNS too much. GBL should not be used in the two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Interactions

Interactions?

Major Interaction

Do not take this combination

!
  • Alcohol interacts with GAMMA BUTYROLACTONE (GBL)

    Alcohol can cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Taking GBL along with alcohol might greatly increase sleepiness and drowsiness caused by alcohol. Taking GBL along with alcohol can lead to serious side effects. Do not take GBL if you have been drinking.

  • Amphetamines interacts with GAMMA BUTYROLACTONE (GBL)

    Amphetamines are drugs that can speed up your nervous system. GBL is changed in the body to GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate). GHB can slow down your nervous system. Taking GBL along with amphetamines can lead to serious side effects.

  • Haloperidol (Haldol) interacts with GAMMA BUTYROLACTONE (GBL)

    GBL can affect the brain. Haloperidol (Haldol) can also affect the brain. Taking haloperidol (Haldol) along with GBL might cause serious side effects.

  • Medications for mental conditions (Antipsychotic drugs) interacts with GAMMA BUTYROLACTONE (GBL)

    GBL can affect the brain. Medications for mental conditions also affect the brain. Taking GBL along with medications for mental conditions might increase the effects and serious side effects of GBL. Do not take GBL if you are taking medications for a mental condition.<br><nb>Some of these medications include fluphenazine (Permitil, Prolixin), haloperidol (Haldol), chlorpromazine (Thorazine), prochlorperazine (Compazine), thioridazine (Mellaril), trifluoperazine (Stelazine), and others.

  • Medications for pain (Narcotic drugs) interacts with GAMMA BUTYROLACTONE (GBL)

    Some medications for pain can cause sleepiness and drowsiness. GBL might also cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Taking GBL along with some medications for pain might cause severe side effects. Do not take GBL if you are taking medications for pain.<br><nb>Some medications for pain include meperidine (Demerol), hydrocodone, morphine, OxyContin, and many others.

  • Medications used to prevent seizures (Anticonvulsants) interacts with GAMMA BUTYROLACTONE (GBL)

    Medications used to prevent seizures affect chemicals in the brain. GBL is changed in the body to one of these brain chemicals called GABA. Taking GBL along with medications used to prevent seizures might decrease the effects of GBL.<br><nb>Some medications used to prevent seizures include phenobarbital, primidone (Mysoline), valproic acid (Depakene), gabapentin (Neurontin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), and others.

  • Muscle relaxants interacts with GAMMA BUTYROLACTONE (GBL)

    Muscle relaxants can cause drowsiness. GBL can also cause drowsiness. Taking GBL along with muscle relaxants might cause too much drowsiness and serious side effects. Do not take GBL if you are taking muscle relaxants.<br><nb>Some of these muscle relaxants include carisoprodol (Soma), pipecuronium (Arduan), orphenadrine (Banflex, Disipal), cyclobenzaprine, gallamine (Flaxedil), atracurium (Tracrium), pancuronium (Pavulon), succinylcholine (Anectine), and others.

  • Naloxone (Narcan) interacts with GAMMA BUTYROLACTONE (GBL)

    GBL is changed by the body to another chemical. This chemical is called GHB. GHB can affect the brain. Taking naloxone (Narcan) along with GBL might decrease the effects of GBL on the brain.

  • Ritonavir (Norvir) interacts with GAMMA BUTYROLACTONE (GBL)

    Ritonavir (Norvir) and saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase) are commonly used together for HIV/AIDS. Taking both of these medications plus GBL might decrease how quickly the body gets rid of GBL. This could cause serious side effects.

  • Saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase) interacts with GAMMA BUTYROLACTONE (GBL)

    Saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase) and ritonavir (Norvir) are commonly used together for HIV/AIDS. Taking both these medications plus GBL might decrease how fast the body gets rid of GBL. This could cause serious side effects.

  • Sedative medications (Benzodiazepines) interacts with GAMMA BUTYROLACTONE (GBL)

    GBL might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness and drowsiness are called sedatives. Taking GBL along with sedative medications might cause serious side effects. Do not take GBL if you are taking sedative medications.<br><nb>Some of these sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and others.

  • Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with GAMMA BUTYROLACTONE (GBL)

    GBL might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking GBL along with sedative medications might cause serious side effects. Do not take GBL if you are taking sedative medications.<br><nb>Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.

Dosing

Dosing

The appropriate dose of gamma butyrolactone (GBL) depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for gamma butyrolactone (GBL). Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • Anon. Adverse events associated with ingestion of gamma-butyrolactone--Minnesota, New Mexico, and Texas, 1998-1999. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 1999;48:137-40. View abstract.
  • Anon. FDA alert on misuse of consumer products containing GHB, GBL and BD. Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, MD. June 15, 1999. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/graphics/ghb.gif
  • Anon. Important message for health professionals: Report serious adverse events associated with dietary supplements containing GBL, GHB or BD. Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, MD. August 25, 1999. Available at: http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/mwgblghb.html
  • Anon. Multistate outbreak of poisonings associated with illicit use of gamma hydroxy butyrate. JAMA 1991;265:447-8.
  • Bhattacharya IS, Watson F, Bruce M. A case of ?-butyrolactone associated with severe withdrawal delirium and acute renal failure. Eur Addict Res 2011;17(4):169-71. VIew abstract.
  • Bosch OG, Eisenegger C, Gertsch J, et al. Gamma-hydroxybutyrate enhances mood and prosocial behavior without affecting plasma oxytocin and testosterone. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2015 Dec;62:1-10. View abstract.
  • Cash CD. Gamma-hydroxybutyrate: an overview of the pros and cons for it being a neurotransmitter and/or a useful therapeutic agent (abstract). Neurosci Biobehav Rev 1994;18:291-304. View abstract.
  • Corkery JM, Loi B, Claridge H, et al. Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), gamma butyrolactone (GBL) and 1,4-butanediol (1,4-BD; BDO): A literature review with a focus on UK fatalities related to non-medical use. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2015;53:52-78. View abstract.
  • Dargan PI, Button J, Davies S, et al. The first reported UK fatality related to gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) ingestion. J R Soc Med 2009;102(12):546-7. View abstract.
  • Dougherty GG, Ellinwood EH Jr. Influence of gamma-butyrolactone on behavior due to dopaminergic drugs (abstract). Physiol Behav 1983;30:607-12. View abstract.
  • Eiden C, Capdevielle D, Deddouche C, et al. Neuroleptic malignant syndrome-like reaction precipitated by antipsychotics in a patient with gamma-butyrolactone withdrawal. J Addict Med 2011;5(4):302-3. View abstract.
  • Ellinwood EH Jr, Gonzalez AE, Dougherty GG Jr. Gamma-Butyrolactone effects on behavior induced by dopamine agonists (abstract). Biol Psychiatry 1983;18:1023-32. View abstract.
  • FDA Talk Paper. FDA Warns About GBL-Related Products. 1999. Available at: vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/tpgbl2.html
  • FDA. FDA warns about products containing gamma butyrolactone or GBL and asks companies to issue a recall. Talk Paper, 21 January 1999.
  • Feigenbaum JJ, Howard SG. Gamma hydroxybutyrate is not a GABA agonist (abstract). Prog Neurobiol 1996;50:1-7. View abstract.
  • Harrington RD, Woodward JA, Hooton TM, et al. Life-threatening interactions between HIV-1 protease inhibitors and the illicit drugs MDMA and gamma-hydroxybutyrate. Arch Intern Med 1999;159:2221-4. View abstract.
  • Heytens L, Neels H, Van Regenmortel N, et al. Near-fatal persistent anion- and osmolal-gap acidosis due to massive gamma-butyrolactone/ethanol intoxication. Ann Clin Biochem 2015;52(Pt 2):283-7. View abstract.
  • Hillory J. Farias and Samantha Reid date-rape drug prohibition act of 2000. 106th Congress of the United States of America. HR 2130.
  • Kohrs FP, Porter WH, et al. Gamma-hydroxybutyrate intoxication and overdose. [Letter and responses]. Ann Emerg Med 1999;33:475-6.
  • LoVecchio F, Curry SC, Bagnasco T. Butyrolactone-induced central nervous system depression after ingestion of RenewTrient, a dietary supplement. N Engl J Med 1998;339:847-8.
  • Maitre M. The gamma-hydroxybutyrate signaling system in brain: organization and functional implications (abstract). Prog Neurobiol 1997;51:337-61. View abstract.
  • Mamelak M. Gammahydroxybutyrate: an endogenous regulator of energy metabolism (abstract). Neurosci Biobehav Rev 1989;13:187-98. View abstract.
  • Mason P, Kerns II W. Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB) Intoxication. Acad Emerg Med 2002;9:730-39.. View abstract.
  • Roberts DM, Smith MW, Gopalakrishnan M, et al. Extreme ?-butyrolactone overdose with severe metabolic acidosis requiring hemodialysis. Ann Emerg Med 2011;58(1):83-5. View abstract.
  • Schep LJ, Knudsen K, Slaughter RJ, et al. The clinical toxicology of ?-hydroxybutyrate, ?-butyrolactone and 1,4-butanediol. Clin Toxicol (Phila) 2012;50(6):458-70. View abstract.
  • Schneir AB, Ly BT, Clark RF. A case of withdrawal from the GHB precursors gamma-butyrolactone and 1,4-butanediol. J Emerg Med 2001;21:31-3.. View abstract.
  • Sivilotti ML, Burns MJ, Aaron CK, Greenberg MJ. Pentobarbital for severe gamma-butyrolactone withdrawal. Ann Emerg Med 2001;38:660-5.. View abstract.
  • Snead OC III, Bearden LJ. Naloxone overcomes the dopaminergic, EEG, and behavioral effects of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (abstract). Neurol 1980;30:832-8. View abstract.
  • Tunnicliff G. Significance of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid in the brain. Gen Pharmacol 1992;23:1027-34. View abstract.
  • Tunnicliff, G. Sites of action of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB)-a neuroactive drug with abuse potential. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 1997;35:581-90. View abstract.
  • Van Cauter E, Plat L, Scharf MB, et al. Simultaneous stimulation of slow-wave sleep and growth hormone secretion by gamma-hydroxybutyrate in normal young Men (abstract). J Clin Invest 1997;100:745-53. View abstract.
  • van Gerwen M, Scheper H, Touw DJ, van Nieuwkoop C. Life-threatening acute lung injury after gamma butyrolactone ingestion. Neth J Med 2015;73(3):133-5. View abstract.
  • Zepf FD, Holtmann M, Duketis E, et al. A 16-year-old boy with severe gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) withdrawal delirium. Pharmacopsychiatry 2009;42(5):202-3. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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