Sodium oxybate or Xyrem can have significant side effects and needs to be taken carefully.

Particularly when starting on Xyrem, there are lots of things that may not be familiar, like how to draw up the medication and what side effects to look out for.

Please note: These resources have been developed specifically to support patients of the Melbourne Sleep Disorders Centre who are starting on Xyrem under the supervision of their sleep physician.

Managing side effects when starting Xyrem

The most common side effects to look out for when starting Xyrem are nausea, weight loss and anxiety. Watch this video for advice on what to look for and what to do if these side effects develop. It’s important to address side effects early, and if they occur contact your sleep physician. For patients of Melbourne Sleep Disorders Centre, that is via phone (03) 9663 1993 or email:

If you’re after more detailed and technical information on Xyrem, this article from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine may be helpful.

Information on taking Xyrem and information for your GP

As Xyrem is not widely available in Australia, your GP may not have heard of it or know much about it. You can use these resources for information for yourself on taking Xyrem as well as to provide information on Xyrem to your GP.

Not yet started Xyrem and want to know what’s involved?

Understanding the complex paperwork that needs to be completed and in place before starting Xyrem can be confusing for people with narcolepsy and the health professionals treating them. This blog post outlines some of the steps that need to be taken, with links to accessing the required forms and documents.