What Are Barbiturates?

Barbiturates are derived from barbituric acid. These medications are classified as depressants for the body’s central nervous system. They can cause drowsiness or relaxation when taken. These drugs have an effect on the brain, causing it to increase its GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which in turn creates a sedating effect. It can reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. Depending on the drug used, they can have short or long-lasting effects. Some barbiturates are known for long-lasting effects, even as long as 24 hours. They are available in tablet, liquid, and injectable forms.

Some examples of drugs that are barbiturates include:

  • Amobarbital
  • Phenobarbital
  • Pentobarbital
  • Secobarbital
  • Methohexital

Barbiturates are medications that have some history. These drugs were first introduced during the early 1900s and more commonly used in the 1940s to 1970s as an effective treatment for certain major medical conditions. These conditions include:

  • Moderate to severe seizures
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety

They would commonly be used as hypnotics (in much larger doses), sedatives, anticonvulsants, and anesthetics.

man holding his head in his hands, having hard time to concentrate

Hypnotics help induce, improve, and extend sleep quality for the patient. Sedatives essentially help slow the activity of your brain. Anticonvulsants may help treatment of mood or personality disorders and help treat seizures caused by epilepsy. Anesthetics can induce sleep or loss of sensation and/ or all awareness. They were also sometimes previously used in combination with other substances by officials for the use of capital punishment by lethal injection or euthanasia.

Doctors have more recently stopped prescribing these kinds of drugs as much due to increasing amounts of major misuse of these drugs and the side effects that can follow. Barbiturates are highly addictive, and high risk for someone to overdose on it. This is why benzodiazepines were more recently introduced to replace barbiturates as a safer option, possibly posing fewer risks for the patient. The risks outweigh the advantages due to overdose reactions potentially being very severe. Unfortunately, these severe overdose reactions can lead to coma or even death. Barbiturates should not ever be taken by women who are pregnant. These drugs will harm an unborn baby. They can even pass to the breast milk and cause effects on a baby such as drowsiness and difficulty breathing.

The use of barbiturates should be taken with extreme caution because of not only the effects and risks but also because they can cause some interactions with some different drugs you may take.

Medication interaction can cause some of these medications to break down faster and stop working for you.

Some of these drugs that can potentially lead to medication interaction include:

  • Reyataz
  • Latuda
  • Ranexa
  • Norvir
  • Lurasidone

Another interaction with a combination of barbiturates and other depressant drugs can cause excessive sedation, which can lead to coma and death.

Some of these common medications include:

  • Xanax
  • Klonopin
  • Valium
  • Ambien
  • Sonata

Alcohol can severely intensify a barbiturates drug’s depressant effects.

Side effects of barbiturates

Barbiturates can be very habit-forming. They can also be very addictive. Sometimes you may be unaware that your habit and addiction are causing other things to happen in your body, such as side effects.

Side effects are considered an adverse reaction which is usually most likely related to a drug. There are many common side effects of barbiturates. The severity and risk of side effects depend on certain factors for the individual, such as age, health condition, and any other previous drug interactions.

Some of the most common side effects of barbiturates can be:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Addiction
  • Overdose

Talk with your doctor or directly contact us if you have had any of these side effects when taking a barbiturate drug.

unresponsive man lying on the floor

Withdrawal symptoms of barbituates

Prolonged use of any barbiturates usually causes a tolerance to develop to them, which requires larger doses than recommended. If you’ve been taking a barbiturate regularly, it is highly recommended that you do not try to stop taking the drug alone with no guidance. Withdrawal symptoms can be intense and dangerous, so it is best to go through a program to monitor you until the drug is completely out of your body. This process usually takes most people several days. You simply cannot just stop taking barbiturates after regular use or abuse all of a sudden. It can trigger severe withdrawal symptoms, which included in these symptoms may even include death.

Some other common withdrawal symptoms of these common drugs include:

  • Denial
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty with sleep and focus
  • Increased body temperature
  • Heart problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Agitation
  • Stomach cramps
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Delirium
  • Hallucinations

Some usually rare but more serious side effects may include:

  • Difficulty breathing, chest tightness, or pains
  • Fever
  • Rashes
  • Joint pain
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising of the skin

Contact us if you have had any of these side effects when taking a barbiturate drug or are currently addicted to the drug.

Symptoms of barbiturate intoxication or overdose can be:

  • Slow or slurred speech
  • Sluggishness
  • Coordination problems
  • Difficulty thinking
  • Altered consciousness
  • Drowsiness and coma

If you are someone you know who overdose on a barbiturate, it is very important to go get help right away. Go into the emergency room as quickly as possible for poison control and treatment. If you have an addiction to a barbiturate and have not recently overdosed, we can help you.

How to get professional help for a Barbiturate addiction

Psychological dependence on a drug can be very dangerous to your health. It is very important to detoxify your body from barbiturates in a safe way due to the many risks and complications that can come with it. Barbiturate addiction is less common than it used to be, but it can still happen to anyone. If you or a friend or family member needs help with an addiction, we have effective treatments available to you now. Contact Elite Home Detox today! Our expert staff can help you on your road to recovery and overall health.

EHD Can Help You Through The Withdrawal Process

Elite Home Detox is here for you if you need help withdrawing from Barbiturates or any other addictive drug. We can provide you with the one-on-one care you need while going through detoxification and withdrawal symptoms caused by addiction. And best of all, we come to you! You can make a full and lasting recovery in the comfort of your home with the help of our expert medical team. Contact us today to learn more.


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