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Q: WHAT IS THE PROPOSED MECHANISM OF ACTION OF GHB? What receptors does it effect?

A: GHB, or gamma-hydroxy butyric acid is a small molecule similar to the endogenous neurotransmitter GABA, or gamma-amino butyric acid. GHB affects the same receptor as GABA, alcohol, valium, quaaludes, and other depressants (though not the opiates, such as morphine, heroin, codeine, etc.). This receptor is called the GABA receptor. The GABA receptor affects neuronal transmission by encouraging the neurons not to fire, thus depressing neuronal activity and overall brain activity. While GHB is not as dangerous as other GABA agonists (receptor activating molecules), that neuronal depression can affect the parts of your brain responsible for heart rate and breathing. A significant drop in breathing can be dangerous and even fatal. This is particularly dangerous when depressants are combined, as their effects are multiplied.



Asked By : Jaki
Answered By : psilo
Published Date : 5 / 18 / 2000
Last Edited Date : 5 / 18 / 2000
Question ID : 173


Ask Erowid v1.7 - Jul, 2005

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