GHB's unique attributes have some legitimate uses. In Europe, it is still used as an anesthetic, for alcohol and opiate addiction therapy, and for narcolepsy therapy. Only this last indication of narcolepsy is recognized by the US Food and Drug Administration, which recently approved GHB (ie, sodium oxybate [Xyrem]) to treat a small subset of patients with narcolepsy who have episodes of weak or paralyzed muscles (ie, cataplexy). Because of sodium oxybate's history of abuse as a recreational drug, the FDA approved it as a Schedule III Controlled Substance. A limited distribution program that includes physician education, patient education, a patient and physician registry, and detailed patient surveillance has been established. Under the program, prescribers and patients will be able to obtain the product only through a single centralized pharmacy.
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Surgery can cure liver cancer, but only when the cancer is limited to a region small enough to permit its removal while leaving enough of the liver behind to perform normal functions. Surgery is not curative for cancers that have spread beyond the liver and is not usually recommended for patients with cirrhosis. When surgery is not an option, some local tumours can be destroyed either by being frozen or by being injected with alcohol . Other cancers may be starved by blocking nearby blood vessels. This procedure, however, carries inherent risks because it also blocks blood flow to healthy liver tissue.