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Xyrem for Treatment Refractory Insomnia Due to PTSD

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00330291
Recruitment Status : Withdrawn (terminated due to inability to recruit subjects)
First Posted : May 26, 2006
Last Update Posted : September 7, 2012
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Thomas L. Schwartz, M.D., State University of New York - Upstate Medical University

Brief Summary:

Xyrem (sodium oxybate) is an agent with the propensity to improve slow wave sleep and sleep efficiency. It is FDA approved to treat cataplexy (drop attacks) associated with narcolepsy (sleep attacks). It has been shown to be a safe and effective agent here where deep, restorative slow wave sleep improves and next day cataplexy attacks tend not to occur.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric illness where a patient has witnessed or been involved in a traumatic event. After the event is over, nightmares, flashbacks, avoidance of people and places associated with trauma and hyperarousal occur which is incapacitating to the patient. One major part of PTSD hyperarousal is marked insomnia with multiple awakenings at night. This resultant poor sleep is compounded by use of SSRI serotonergic antianxiety agents (ie Zoloft(sertraline)) as first line therapy which tend to degrade slow wave, restorative sleep. Patients may respond to SSRI treatment but may fail to remit as they continue to have sleep problems. PTSD patients will often fail to respond to antihistamine (Desyrel (trazodone)) and benzodiazepine GABA hypnotic agents (Restoril(temazepam)) and continue with poor, interrupted sleep. It is possible that Xyrem's ability to remarkably improve slow wave sleep may greatly help treatment refractory insomnia due to PTSD.

The author proposes an open-label study (no placebo) where 10 PTSD patients, who have failed usual PTSD treatments and have failed usual insomnia treatments in particular will be given Xyrem in addition to their current PTSD medication. The authors wish to determine if Xyrem is a safe treatment optionin this difficult-to-treat patient population.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
PTSD Anxiety, Post Traumatic Drug: Xyrem Phase 2

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 0 participants
Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Xyrem for Treatment Refractory Insomnia Due to PTSD
Study Start Date : August 2005
Actual Primary Completion Date : August 2006
Actual Study Completion Date : August 2006

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Club Drugs

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 64 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:Patients are included in the study if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Written informed consent is obtained.
  2. The patient is English-speaking and 18 through 64 years of age inclusive.
  3. The patient meets the DSM-IV criteria for PTSD as determined by the MINI and psychiatric evaluation.
  4. The patient is currently taking a medication for PTSD for ≥ 12 weeks and remains symptomatic for insomnia
  5. The patient has failed to respond to at least two of the following sleeping agents (there must be at least two drug classes failed): true benzodiazepines hypnotics (temazepam), non-benzodiazepine GABA modulating hypnotics (zaleplon dosed x2 or zolpidem, an antihistamine (trazadone or mirtazapine), or an atypical antipsychotic (olanzapine or quetiapine).
  6. The patient is in good health as determined by a medical and psychiatric history, medical examination, lab tests.
  7. Women must be of nonchildbearing potential [i.e., postmenopausal, be surgically sterile (hysterectomy or tubal ligation)] or must meet all of the following conditions: using a reliable, medically accepted form of contraception for at least 60 days before the baseline visit, and agree to continue such use throughout the duration of the study and for 30 days after the final dose of study drug. Reliable forms of contraception include oral, implanted, or injected contraceptives; intrauterine devices in place for at least 3 months; and adequate barrier methods in conjunction with spermicide (abstinence is considered an acceptable contraceptive regimen). Women must be given a pregnancy test (ßHCG), unless they are at least 2 years postmenopausal or surgically sterile, and the results of the test must be negative.
  8. The patient must be willing and able to comply with study restrictions and to remain at the clinic for the required duration during the study period, and willing to return to the clinic for the follow-up evaluation as specified in this protocol.


Exclusion Criteria:Patients are excluded from participating in this study if 1 or more of the following criteria are met:

  1. Have a primary Axis I or II psychiatric condition outside of PTSD
  2. The patient is a significant risk of suicide
  3. The patient has a history of substance dependence (except nicotine) ever
  4. The patient has a history of substance abuse in the last 5 years
  5. The patient has any serious, unresolved or unstable medical and/or psychiatric condition (treated or untreated) which makes Xyrem treatment risky. The inborn error of metabolism succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency is contraindicated Uncontrolled hypertension, heart failure are relative contraindications due to Xyrem's high salt content
  6. The patient has previously participated in any clinical study with Xyrem or treated with Xyrem.
  7. The patient is a pregnant or lactating woman (women becoming pregnant during the study will be withdrawn from the study).
  8. The patient has used an investigational drug within 1 month before the screening visit or is participating in a concurrent clinical trial.
  9. The patient has any disorder that may interfere with drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, or excretion (including gastrointestinal surgery) or have an explanable medical condition causing insomnia

(k) The patient is unlikely to comply with the study protocol, be unreliable in providing ratings, or is unsuitable for any reason, as judged by the investigator.

(l) The patient has a clinically significant deviation from normal in the physical examination.

(m) The patient has a responsibility that would require them to wake up and perform within 4 hours of a Xyrem dose (n) The patient refuses to cease use of sleeping pills (o) The patient has been diagnosed with sleep apnea (we will clinically prescreen for this and check on initial EEG).

(p) If the patient lives alone, they will need to agree to being called by a member of the study team to assess the subject's well being on the morning after the first ingestion of study drug and on the morning after any dose increase to monitor for excess sedation, sleepwalking, etc. (q) If the patient lives with children less than 6 years of age, they will not be allowed in the study.


Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00330291

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United States, New York
SUNY Upstate Medical University
Syracuse, New York, United States, 13210
Sponsors and Collaborators
State University of New York - Upstate Medical University
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Principal Investigator: Thomas L Schwartz, MD State University of New York - Upstate Medical University
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Responsible Party: Thomas L. Schwartz, M.D., Assoc Professor, State University of New York - Upstate Medical University Identifier: NCT00330291    
Other Study ID Numbers: 4975
First Posted: May 26, 2006    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 7, 2012
Last Verified: September 2012
Keywords provided by Thomas L. Schwartz, M.D., State University of New York - Upstate Medical University:
Sleep problems
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Sleep Disorders, Intrinsic
Sleep Wake Disorders
Nervous System Diseases
Mental Disorders
Stress Disorders, Traumatic
Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders