What is this medicine?
SECOBARBITAL (see koe BAR bi tal) is a barbiturate. It is used to help you sleep if you have insomnia or before you have surgery.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- acute or chronic pain
- attempted suicide
- drug abuse or addiction
- if you frequently drink alcohol containing drinks
- liver disease
- lung or breathing disease
- mental depression
- an unusual or allergic reaction to secobarbital, other barbiturates, medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.
What if I miss a dose?
If you are on a regular schedule and miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
- other barbituates
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- alcohol or medicines that contain alcohol
- female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills
- MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
- medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
- medicines for sleep
- muscle relaxants
- narcotic medicines for pain
- phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
- steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups.
Do not take this medicine unless you are able to get a full night's sleep before you must be active again. You may not be able to remember things that you do in the hours after you take this medicine. Some people have reported driving, making phone calls, or preparing and eating food while asleep after taking sleep medicine. Take this medicine right before going to sleep. Tell your doctor if you are have any problems with your memory.
If you have been taking this medicine for a long time, do not suddenly stop taking it because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a nonmedical reason. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Birth control pills may not work properly while you are taking this medicine. Talk to your doctor about using an extra method of birth control.