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Xywav: 7 things you should know

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on Sep 26, 2023.

1. How it works

2. Upsides

3. Downsides

If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:

Note: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. View complete list of side effects

4. Bottom Line

Xywav may be used to treat idiopathic hypersomnia in adults or narcolepsy in adults and children aged 7 and older. It contains 92% less sodium than sodium oxybate (Xyrem) because it is made up of a mixture of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium oxybate salts compared to Xyrem which only contains sodium oxybate. Fewer side effects have been reported with Xywav Vs. Xyrem but there is still a high potential for abuse. Prescriptions for Xywav can only be obtained from doctors who are enrolled in the Xywav REMS program and must be dispensed from the central certified pharmacy.

5. Tips

6. Response and effectiveness

7. Interactions

Medicines that interact with Xywav may either decrease its effect, affect how long it works for, increase side effects, or have less of an effect when taken with Xywav. An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of the medications; however, sometimes it does. Speak to your doctor about how drug interactions should be managed.

Common medications that may interact with Xywav include:

Alcohol should not be taken with Xywav because it can lead to dangerous side effects such as respiratory depression which may increase the risk of death.

If initiating Xywav in somebody already on a stable dose of divalproex, a lower starting dosage of Xywav is recommended.

Xywav does not significantly affect hepatic enzymes CYP1A2, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, CYP2E1, or CYP3A at dosages much higher than recommended, so is unlikely to interact with medications metabolized by these enzymes.

Note that this list is not all-inclusive and includes only common medications that may interact with Xywav. You should refer to the prescribing information for Xywav for a complete list of interactions.


Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Xywav only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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