Uses and Side Effects of Phenobarbital

Uses and Side Effects of Phenobarbital

Phenobarbital: A Medication Guide

What is phenobarbital?

Phenobarbital is a type of barbiturate that slows down the activity of the brain and nervous system. It is commonly used to treat or prevent seizures and as a short-term sedative to help patients relax.


Before taking phenobarbital, it is important to note that it should not be used by individuals with severe liver disease, severe asthma or COPD, a personal or family history of porphyria, or a history of addiction to drugs similar to phenobarbital.

Before taking this medicine

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is important to consult with your doctor before taking phenobarbital. Additionally, if you have any medical conditions or are taking other medications, be sure to inform your doctor before starting phenobarbital.

How should I take phenobarbital?

It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions when taking phenobarbital. Do not take more than the recommended dose or for longer than prescribed. Phenobarbital may be habit-forming, so it is important to keep it in a secure location and not share it with others.

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of phenobarbital, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.

What happens if I overdose?

If you suspect an overdose of phenobarbital, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Symptoms of an overdose may include shallow breathing, weak pulse, cold or clammy skin, and fainting.

What should I avoid while taking phenobarbital?

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking phenobarbital, as it can increase the risk of side effects. Additionally, be cautious when performing activities that require alertness, such as driving or operating machinery.

Phenobarbital side effects

Serious side effects of phenobarbital may include difficulty breathing, unusual pain, and severe skin reactions. Common side effects may include drowsiness, dizziness, and a “hangover” effect. If you experience any side effects, contact your doctor immediately.

What other drugs will affect phenobarbital?

Phenobarbital may interact with other medications, including sleeping pills, narcotic pain medications, muscle relaxers, and medications for anxiety, depression, or seizures. Be sure to inform your doctor of all medications you are taking before starting phenobarbital.

More about phenobarbital

For more information about phenobarbital, consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Always keep medications out of reach of children and use them only as directed by your doctor.

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