Friday, December 1, 2023

Phenobarbital : Side-effects, Uses, Precautions and More

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Quick Information

  1. Introduction
  2. Uses
  3. How to take
  4. Dosage instructions
  5. Side-effects
  6. Precautions


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Phenobarbital is also called phenobarb, or phenobarbitone and is a medicine of the barbiturate. The trade name of phenobarbital is Luminal. World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended this medicine to treat several types of epilepsy, especially in developing countries. This medicine is also used in the treatment of seizures in young children whereas other medicines are commonly used in adults.

Phenobarbital was discovered in the year 1912 and is still used as an anti-seizure medicine and is one of the lists of necessary medicines of the World Health Organization. This medicine is available at a lower cost at about US$5 a year in the developing world.


Phenobarbital may be used through injection into a muscle or taken by mouth and is rarely used in the treatment of anxiety, drug withdrawal, difficulty in sleeping, and to help with the surgery. This medicine is used to control seizures and belongs to a class of drugs called barbiturate or hypnotics, or anticonvulsants. The work of this medicine is to control the abnormal electrical activity in the brain, which occurs during a seizure. It is also used for a short period that helps in calming or sleeping during periods of anxiety.

How to take

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Take this medicine via mouth with or without food as instructed by your doctor. If you have stomach pain then take this medicine with food. Generally, it starts working within 30 minutes or half an hour when taken by mouth. If you take this medicine intravenously then it takes a time of 5 minutes.  If you use this medicine in liquid form then measure the dose carefully with the help of a special measuring device or cup. But do not use a household spoon due to it may not measure the correct dose of this medicine.

Dosage instructions

The dose of this medicine is based on your past or present health condition, age, blood level, and response to treatment. But the dose of this medicine is depending on the weight of the children. You should follow all the instructions are written on your prescriptions before taking this medicine. The medication starts with a low dose as instructed by your doctor to prevent side effects. After that, you can gradually increase the dose of this medicine as per consultation with your doctor.

  • Miss dose

    – Take this medicine as soon as possible if you miss the dose of this medicine. But do not take an extra dose of this medicine as it may harmful to you.

  • Overdose

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    – The overdose of this medicine causes several serious side effects such as problems in breathing, cold skin, little urination, fainting, and many more. If you take the overdose of this medicine then talk to your doctor immediately.


There are some of the side effects of this medicine are listed below –

  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Drowsiness
  • Low level of consciousness
  • Sore throat
  • Skin rash
  • Depression
  • Confusion

If you feel any side effects for a long time after taking this medicine then immediately consult with your doctor for medical help.


There are some of the precautions before taking this medicine are listed below –

  • Do not stop taking this medicine immediately without consulting with your doctor as seizures may be more worsen and cause a severe seizure.
  • This medicine can reduce the level of vitamin K and folic acid so you should check vitamin K and folic acid during treatment.
  • You can talk to your doctor about medical conditions or family history before taking this medicine.
  • After taking this medicine, do not drive any vehicle or avoid physical activities due to it may cause dizziness or sleepiness that may responsible for any accident.
  • This medicine is not suggested for a pregnant lady as it may harm an unborn baby.
  • If you are suffering from any serious disease such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, sleep apnea, mood disorders, and many more then consult with your doctor before using this product.

At the time of medication, do not take a large amount of alcohol as it may cause severe side effects that are harmful to your health.


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