Butabarbital : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More

Why is this medication prescribed?

Butabarbital is used short-term to treat insomnia (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep). It is also used to relieve anxiety, including anxiety before surgery. Butabarbital is in a class of medications called barbiturates. It works by slowing down the activity of the brain.

How should this medicine be used?

Butabarbital comes as a tablet and a solution (liquid) to take by mouth. When butabarbital is used to treat insomnia, it is usually taken at bedtime as needed for sleep. When butabarbital is used to relieve anxiety before surgery, it is usually taken 60 to 90 minutes before surgery. When butabarbital is used to relieve anxiety, it is usually taken three to four times a day. If you are taking butabarbital on a regular schedule, take it around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Take butabarbital exactly as directed.

Your sleep problems should improve within 7-10 days after you start taking butabarbital. Call your doctor if your sleeping problems do not improve during this time, if they get worse at any time during your treatment, or if you notice any changes in your thoughts or behavior.

Butabarbital should normally be taken for short periods. If you take butabarbital for 2 weeks or longer, butabarbital may not help you sleep as well or control your anxiety as it did when you started taking the medicine. If you take butabarbital for a long time, you may also develop dependence (“addiction,” the need to keep taking the medicine) from butabarbital. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking butabarbital for 2 weeks or longer. Do not take a higher dose of butabarbital, take it more often, or take it for a longer time than prescribed by your doctor.

Do not stop taking butabarbital without consulting your doctor. Your doctor will likely reduce your dose gradually. If you suddenly stop taking butabarbital, you may develop anxiety, muscle spasms, uncontrollable tremors of your hands or fingers, weakness, dizziness, changes in vision, nausea, vomiting, or difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or you may experience further withdrawal. serious. symptoms such as seizures or extreme confusion.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking butabarbital,

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to butabarbital; other barbiturates such as amobarbital (Amytal, in Tuinal), pentobarbital, phenobarbital or secobarbital (Seconal); tartrazine (a yellow dye found in some foods and medicines); aspirin; or any other medication. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); antihistamines; doxycycline (Doryx, Vibramycin; Vibra-tabs); griseofulvin (Fulvicin-U / F, Grifulvin V, Gray-PEG); Hormone replacement therapy; monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate); medications for depression, pain, colds, or allergies; muscle relaxants; certain medications for seizures, such as phenytoin (Dilantin) and valproic acid (Depakene); oral steroids such as dexamethasone, methylprednisolone (Medrol), and prednisone; sedative sleeping pills; and tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had porphyria (a condition in which certain natural substances build up in the body and can cause stomach pain, changes in thinking and behavior, and other symptoms). Your doctor will probably tell you not to take butabarbital.
  • Tell your doctor if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol, use or have ever used street drugs, or have overused prescription drugs. Also tell your doctor if you have ever thought or tried to commit suicide and if you have or have ever had asthma or any condition that causes you to be short of breath or short of breath; depression; seizures or kidney or liver disease.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking butabarbital, call your doctor immediately. Butabarbital can harm the fetus.
  • You should know that butabarbital can decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, injections, implants or intrauterine devices). Talk to your doctor about the birth control methods that will work for you during your treatment with butabarbital. Tell your doctor if you have a missed period or think you may be pregnant while taking butabarbital.
  • Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking this medicine if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults generally should not take butabarbital because it is not as safe or effective as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.
  • If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking butabarbital.
  • You should know that this medicine can make you drowsy during the day, lower your mental alertness, and increase your risk of falling. Be especially careful not to fall, especially if you get out of bed in the middle of the night. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Do not drink alcohol during your treatment with butabarbital. Alcohol can make the side effects of butabarbital worse.
  • You should know that some people who took medication to sleep got out of bed and drove their cars, prepared and ate food, had sex, made phone calls, or participated in other activities while partially sleeping. After waking up, these people generally couldn’t remember what they had done. Call your doctor immediately if you learn that you have been driving or doing anything else while sleeping.
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What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you are taking butabarbital regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you forgot.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Butabarbital may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • drowsiness
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • nightmares
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • depression
  • nervousness
  • agitation
  • excitement
  • confusion
  • restlessness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • constipation

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, or those listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS sections, call your doctor immediately:

  • hallucinating (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
  • slow, shallow breathing
  • slow heartbeat
  • fainting
  • hives
  • rash
  • itching
  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • hoarseness

Butabarbital may cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medicine.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

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It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, as many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or is unable to wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • unsteadiness
  • slurred speech
  • uncontrollable eye movements
  • confusion
  • poor judgment
  • irritability
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • fast, slowed or shallow breathing
  • narrowed pupils (black circles in the middle of the eye)
  • decreased urination
  • fast heartbeat
  • low body temperature
  • coma (loss of consciousness for a periol of time)
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What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain laboratory tests to check your response to butabarbital.

Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Butabarbital is a controlled substance. Prescriptions can be refilled only a limited number of times; ask your pharmacist if you have any questions.

It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.

Brand Names

  • Butabarb®
  • Butalan®
  • Buticaps®
  • Butisol® Sodium
  • Sarisol®

Other Names

  • secbutobarabitone sodium

Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses. 

 

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