Phenobarbital

Description

Phenobarbital is an anticonvulsant that is used to control seizures and also used for anxiety. Take this medicine at the same time regularly. Do not take this medicine if you have suffered from an impaired liver function.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Phenobarbital

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Hyperactivity
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Anemia

Uses of Phenobarbital

What is it prescribed for?

  • Seizures
  • Insomnia
  • Daytime Sedation
  • Status Epilepticus
  • Preoperative sedation
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The effect of this medicine can be observed within 60 minutes of administration of the oral dose.
  • Duration of effect
    The effect of this medicine lasts for an average duration of 10-12 hours.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Consumption of alcohol is not recommended while receiving this medicine as it may increase the risk of severe adverse effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, etc. Avoid performing activities that need high mental alertness like driving a vehicle or operating heavy machinery if alcohol and this medicine are used together.
  • Is it habit forming?
    Habit-forming tendencies were reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding or to discontinue the drug based on your clinical condition.

Allergy

This medicine is not recommended for use if you have a known allergy to the phenobarbital or any other inactive ingredients present along with it.

Severe Hepatic impairment

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with severe liver diseases due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's condition.

Porphyria

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients suffering from porphyria condition, a genetic disorder due to the increased risk of serious adverse effects and worsening of the patient's condition.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's condition.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine.

Breast-feeding

This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding or to discontinue the drug based on your clinical condition.
General warnings

Withdrawal symptoms

Abrupt discontinuation of this medicine may increase the risk of adverse effects, especially if you have been using a high dose for a long duration. It may precipitate the status epilepticus in patients with a known history of epilepsy. A gradual dose reduction is recommended to avoid these reactions. Do not stop the use of this medicine without consulting your doctor.

Driving or Operating machinery

Use of this medicine may cause blurred vision or dizziness in some patients. It is advised that you do not perform any activities such as driving a vehicle or operating machinery if you experience any of these symptoms during treatment with this medicine.

Suicidal behavior

This medicine should be used with caution due to the increased risk of suicidal tendencies. Patients should be closely monitored for any change in mood or behavior. Report any such incidence to the doctor so that counseling and monitoring of progress can be performed at regular intervals. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition.

Liver Disease

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with mild to moderate liver diseases due to the increased risk of severe adverse effects. Close monitoring of liver function tests, appropriate dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition of the patient.

Renal impairment

This medicine should be used with caution in patients suffering from kidney diseases due to the increased risk of severe adverse effects. Close monitoring of kidney function is necessary while receiving this medicine. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Drug Dependance and Drug abuse

This medicine has the potential to cause drug dependence and abuse. This risk is especially higher if the medicine is used for a prolonged period of time. Patients should be monitored closely for any change in mood and behavior during treatment with this medicine. Abrupt discontinuation is not recommended since it may cause withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal of therapy should be done gradually with close monitoring of the patient.

Skin reactions

This medicine should be used with caution since it may increase the risk of serious skin reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome and Toxic epidermal necrolysis. Report any unusual symptoms to the doctor on priority. Appropriate corrective measures, dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Missed Dose

Oral form: The missed dose should be taken as soon as possible. It is advisable to skip the missed dose if it is already time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for the missed dose. Injection: Since this medicine is usually administered by a qualified healthcare professional in the clinical/hospital setting, the likelihood of a missed dose is very low.

Overdose

Oral form: Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose. Injection: Since this medicine is usually administered by a qualified healthcare professional in the clinical/hospital setting, the likelihood of an overdose is very low. However, emergency medical treatment will be instituted by the doctor if an overdose is suspected.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

N/A

Instructions

Consumption of alcohol is not recommended while receiving this medicine as it may increase the risk of severe adverse effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, etc. Avoid performing activities that need high mental alertness like driving a vehicle or operating heavy machinery if alcohol and this medicine are used together.
Interaction with Medicine

Quetiapine

Valporic Acid

Buspirone

Amlodipine

Codeine

Amiodarone

Disease interactions

Liver disease

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with mild to moderate liver diseases due to the increased risk of severe adverse effects. Close monitoring of liver function tests, appropriate dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition of the patient. Use of this medicine is not recommended if the liver impairment is severe.

Respiratory Depression

This medicine should be used with extreme caution since it may increase the risk of respiratory depression, especially during the rapid intravenous administration of this medicine. Report any unusual symptoms to the doctor on priority. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Cardiovascular disorders

This medicine should be used with extreme caution in patients suffering from cardiovascular disease due to the increased risk of severe adverse effects such as bradycardia, hypertension, and vasodilation. Report any unusual symptoms to the doctor on priority. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Kidney Disease

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with kidney diseases due to the increased risk of severe adverse effects. Regular monitoring of the kidney function is necessary while receiving this medicine. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Oral form: Take this medicine exactly as instructed by the doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts than prescribed. Seek emergency medical treatment in case of any severe side effects. Ensure that the course of treatment is completed. Do not stop the use of this medicine without consulting your doctor. Injection: This medicine is usually administered in the clinical/hospital setting under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional. Follow all the instructions given by your doctor. Inform the doctor if you have a known allergy to this medicine. Report all your current medicines as well as your medical conditions to the doctor before receiving this medicine.
Miscelleneous

Can be taken with or without food, as advised by your doctor

To be taken as instructed by doctor

Causes sleepiness

How it works
It works by decreasing the abnormal electrical activity in the brain by inhibiting the repetitive firing of neurons.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Barbiturate anticonvulsants, Barbiturates

Schedule

Schedule H

[Internet]. Medicines.org.uk. 2018 [cited 26 September 2018]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.5843.pdf

[Internet]. Pdf.hres.ca. 2018 [cited 27 September 2018]. Available from:

https://pdf.hres.ca/dpd_pm/00038830.PDF

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Information on this page was last updated on 21 Feb 2019

Disclaimer

We’ve made all possible efforts to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, however, it should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Practo only provides reference source for common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. The absence of a warning for any drug or combination thereof, should not be assumed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Practo does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provided above. If you have any doubts about your medication then we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. See detailed T&C here.