July 1, 2022

Diclofenac, a common pain reliever, also serves as an antidote to the date rape drug, GHB


BUFFALO, NY – An antidote to the potentially deadly date rape drug, GHB, has been discovered by scientists. Researchers say that diclofenac – an anti-inflammatory drug also known by the brand name Voltaren – can treat and prevent death in combination with the drug also known as “liquid ecstasy” and “G”.

GHB became notorious when it was involved in several high-profile rape cases, including the case of Stephen Port who drugged, raped and murdered four men by giving them fatal overdoses. Used recreationally and as a club drug, GHB has become popular in the gay chemsex scene, while also being linked to several accidental deaths. About 15 minutes after taking a small dose, a person may fall into a deep sleep or even become unconscious and may not remember anything for several hours.

According to official figures, since drug tracing began in the 1990s, there have been 72 GHB-related deaths. The total number is probably much higher, as GHB is not part of routine toxicology testing after sudden death. It can also be difficult and expensive to detect. Previous studies by researchers at the University of Buffalo found that ibuprofen and ketoprofen also affected the movement of GHB in the body.

“The therapeutic utility of GHB in the treatment of narcolepsy has been overshadowed by its high prevalence of abuse. Abuse of GHB – known as Fantasy, Liquid Ecstasy and G – carries the risk of serious side effects, including sedation, respiratory depression, hypothermia, coma and death, ”says Dr. Marilyn Morris of Buffalo’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. , in a report.

“Current treatment for GHB overdoses is limited to supportive care. My lab has identified MCT1 inhibitors as a treatment strategy to prevent death after overdoses of GHB. In this research, we identified the NSAID diclofenac as an MCT1 inhibitor and demonstrated its effectiveness as a potential antidote for GHB overdose, ”adds Dr. Morris.

The study, carried out on animal models, is published in the journal Biopharmaceuticals and drug disposal.

South West News Service writer Joe Morgan contributed to this report.