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Amobarbital

Uses

The drug is used to treat insomnia (sleeplessness), emergent seizures and to sedate patients before surgery.

IUPAC name: 5-ethyl-5-(3-methylbutyl)-1,3-diazinane-2,4,6-trione

Drug class: Sedative-hypnotics; barbiturate

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Route of administration: Oral, intramuscular, intravenous

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

Intermediate-acting barbiturate that works by enhancing GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a chemical messenger (neurotransmitter) that calms the brain and relieves anxiety, and it helps you fall asleep. 

Side effects

It may cause dizziness, drowsiness, lack of coordination, disorientation, lightheadedness, hallucination, depression, excitement, nervousness, unusual thoughts, fever, fainting, constipation, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, rash/itching, breathing problems. 

Precautions

Before using this medication, take the following precautions and notify your doctor:

If you are allergic to barbiturates (such as phenobarbital, secobarbital, butabarbital), or if you have other allergies, or if you are allergic to other anticonvulsant medication,

If you are taking any other medication (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products),

When you have a history of liver disease, kidney disease, breathing problems (such as obstructive sleep apnea, COPD-Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), mental disorders, porphyria (type of blood disorder),

If you have undergone any type of surgery,

Limit your alcohol usage since it increases your chances of developing blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness. It may also cause a loss of alertness.

This drug’s side effects may be more severe among the older adults (above 60).

This medication may reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills.

Use of this medication should be avoided during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

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