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Mechanism Behind Improved Sleep w/ Phenibut & GHB

narcolepsy phenibut ghb gabab gaba sws rem sleep

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#1 Pereise1

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 06:37 PM

Hello all, I wanted to see if anyone could take a stab as to why Phenibut and GHB are so effective for sleep. Those who have seen my posts before will remember that I have Narcolepsy. GHB is typically prescribed to help narcoleptics with sleep, however, because the price gouging pharmaceutical company Jazz Pharmaceuticals has orphan drug status, last I checked, they charge $12,000 a month for it. This has made getting it through my medicaid pretty much impossible, so for about a year now, I've been taking Phenibut every 3-4 nights at doses between 1.5-2.5g. The best sleep I get are all on my Phenibut nights, reason being, they help with the sleep disturbances from Narcolepsy including sleep maintenance, abnormal REM sleep percentages, night sweats, and unrestful sleep.
I've been skittish about taking it more regularly as I was messed up from having been prescribed zolpidem, paroxetine, and alprazolam at age 16 for GAD and insomnia. I was under the impression that the sleep enhancing effects came solely from the Gaba-B agonizing effects, however, attempting to recreate the effects with herbal Gaba-B agonists such as Gotu Kola and Ashgawanda has been unsuccessful. I'm not sure if it's simply the potency of the Gaba-B agonism, however, it's also come to my attention that Gabapentin,  which blocks the α2δ VDCC, also increases slow wave sleep despite not having any strong affinity for the GABA receptors. This got me thinking, is it the calcium channel blockade or the Gaba-B agonism that gives better sleep quality?
GHB, on the other hand, doesn't seem to block calcium channels, and instead is simply an agonist at the Gaba-B (sedative) and GHB (excitatory) sites. The GHB receptor stimulation seems to be responsible for the "upswing" effect but the Gaba-B agonism is what seems to give that ever so elusive quality sleep that people with Narcolepsy sorely lack. Anyone have any idea what the main method of action is? Most sleep aids aren't helpful for people with Narcolepsy due to the REM disturbances. In order to really help, it would not only have to increase Slow Wave Sleep, but also be an REM suppressant. I'm struggling to understand if it's the VDCC blockade only which has this effect, or the Gaba-B agonism.

#2 adamh

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 02:19 AM

Either of those will give tolerance and addiction after a while. 

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: narcolepsy, phenibut, ghb, gabab, gaba, sws, rem, sleep

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