List Of Barbiturates In The United States

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Barbiturates are a class of sedative drugs once extensively prescribed for seizure disorder, anxiety, and insomnia. Barbiturate use has significantly declined due to dangers of addiction and overdose.

List Of Barbiturates

Barbiturates belong to a class of drugs known as central nervous system depressants. These anticonvulsant medications inhibit the activity of nerve cells in the brain by working on the gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors (GABA).

Taking barbiturates can place you at risk for addiction and overdose. This is because the prescribed dosage required to have therapeutic effects is often very close to the dosage that results in coma and death.

Due to these risks, barbiturates are not commonly prescribed. However, these medications continue to be abused for their chemical effects.

Barbiturate side effects often include:

  • sedation
  • relaxation
  • euphoria
  • disinhibition

Today, the range of medical use and prescribing for barbiturates is significantly lower from previous decades, when barbiturate use was prevalent for treating health disorders such as epilepsy.

Benzodiazepines have largely replaced barbiturates in treating a number of health conditions.

List Of Barbiturates By Generic And Brand Names

Barbiturates are listed by generic names and marketed under different brand names:

  • amobarbital sodium (Amytal Sodium)
  • aprobarbital (Oramon)
  • butabarbital (Butisol Sodium)
  • mephobarbital (Mebaral)
  • methohexital (Brevital)
  • methylphenobarbital (Prominal)
  • pentobarbital (Nembutal)
  • phenobarbital (Luminal)
  • primidone (Mysoline)
  • secobarbital (Seconal)
  • thiamylal (Surital)
  • thiopental Sodium (Pentothal)

Different Types Of Barbiturates

Barbiturates may be short-acting, ultra short-acting, intermediate-acting, or long-acting. Effects of barbiturates typically last up to 12 hours.

Ultra short-acting barbiturates take effect within less than one minute, which is why they are typically used as anesthetics for surgeries.

Ultra short-acting barbiturates include:

  • methohexital (Brevital)
  • thiamylal (Surital)
  • thiopental sodium (Pentothal)
  • Short-Acting Barbiturates

Short-acting and intermediate-acting barbiturates work quickly, taking effect in 15 to 40 minutes, and include:

  • pentobarbital (Nembutal)
  • secobarbital (Seconal)
  • Intermediate-Acting Barbiturates
  • amobarbital (Amytal)
  • aprobarbital (Oramon)
  • butabarbital (Butisol Sodium)
  • butalbital (Fioricet)
  • Long-Acting Barbiturates

Long-acting barbiturate prescriptions produce effects in approximately one hour and include:

  • mephobarbital (Mebaral)
  • methylphenobarbital (Prominal)
  • phenobarbital (Luminal)
  • primidone (Mysoline)

List Of Barbiturate Street Names

When barbiturates are sold on the street for recreational use, they are commonly known as:

  • barbs
  • blockbusters
  • christmas trees
  • downers
  • goofballs
  • phennies
  • red and blues
  • yellow jackets
  • sleepers
  • red devils

Side Effects Of Barbiturates

Side effects of barbiturate use are similar to other central nervous depressants that cause short-term memory loss, lethargy, and disorientation. When taken at higher doses, side effects from a barbiturate is similar to alcohol intoxication.

These side effects include:

  • euphoria
  • fatigue
  • slurred speech
  • slowed breathing
  • slowed heart rate
  • poor motor coordination
  • cognitive impairment
  • mood changes
  • irritability and aggression
  • paranoia, depression, suicidal thoughts

Individuals who abuse Barbiturates often combine these prescription medications with alcohol or other drugs, which greatly increases the risk of dangerous side effects.

Barbiturate Overdose

There is a high risk of overdose with use of barbiturates, especially when combined with other CNS depressants and alcohol.

Many barbiturate overdoses involve a cocktail of drugs, such as alcohol and opioids. However, individuals may accidentally overdose on the drug due to forgetting their first dose and taking another.

Signs of barbiturate overdose include:

  • clammy skin
  • weak pulse
  • shallow breathing
  • drowsiness
  • fainting
  • coma
  • death

If an individual experiences extreme drowsiness, confusion, or has breathing problems after taking barbiturates, seek emergency medical assistance immediately.

Are Barbiturates Addictive?

Many barbiturates are classified Schedule II, III, and IV depressants under the Controlled Substances Act. These medications have a high potential for leading to abuse, dependence, and overdose.

Barbiturates cause chemical changes in the brain and body. These prescription drugs cause changes to the brain’s neurotransmitters, which slow brain signals and cause sedation.

Barbiturates produce powerful sedative side effects and euphoria which may appeal to people who have a substance abuse disorder.

These prescription drugs are also habit-forming. With continued use, they can cause the body to become tolerant and dependent. When chemical dependence and tolerance increases, higher doses of the medication is needed to maintain the same effects.

Chemical dependency increases an individual’s risk of addiction and fatal overdose.

Signs Of Barbiturate Addiction And Abuse

It may not be easy for loved ones to identify abuse of prescription medications, as many are not able to tell the difference between appropriate medication use and drug abuse.

Physical and behavioral changes in someone who is abusing drugs are not always easily identifiable.

Abuse of barbiturates may begin subtly as it progresses to long-term addiction.

Signs of barbiturate abuse may include:

  • frequently using the drug
  • higher doses, or using medication without a prescription
  • consuming the drug in ways not intended by prescribed use, like snorting or injecting
  • combining the medication with other drugs and alcohol
  • withdrawal when discontinuing use

Getting Help For Barbiturate Addiction

Many are unaware of the risks of addiction and dependence with barbiturate use. Quitting sedative drugs of this kind may cause seizures and other severe withdrawal symptoms.

Individuals who may become dependent or addicted to barbiturates should always seek medical advice to safely manage their withdrawal.

It is important that people with a barbiturate drug addiction have access to supportive medical treatment and healthcare as they begin detox and recovery.

Several treatment options and addiction treatment programs are available for individuals who suffer from this kind of substance use disorder.

If you or a loved one have a barbiturate addiction, or if you have any questions about substance abuse treatment programs, please connect with our treatment center through our helpline today.


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