Table of Contents > Drug > Phenobarbital Print

Phenobarbital

Image

Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes

    Related terms
    • Brand Names: Canada: PMS-Phenobarbital
    • Mexican Brand Names: Alepsal
    • Pharmacologic Category: Anticonvulsant, Barbiturate;Barbiturate

    Uses
    • It is used to stop or treat high bilirubin levels in newborns.
    • It is used to stop or control seizures.
    • It is used to treat anxiety.
    • It is used to treat sleep problems.
    • Phenobarbital calms the brain.

    Dosing

    How to take

    • Take 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime if using for sleep. Do not take for more than 2 weeks in a row.
    • There is a liquid (elixir) if you cannot swallow pills.
    • Those who have feeding tubes may also use the liquid. Flush the feeding tube before and after this drug is given.
    • Take elixir with water, milk, or juice.
    • If you are taking this drug long-term, take calcium and vitamin D as you were told to do by your doctor.

    Missed Dose

    • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
    • Many times this drug is taken on an as needed basis.

    Storage

    • Store at room temperature.
    • Protect from light.
    • Protect tablets from water. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.

    Safety



    Warnings

    • Unsafe side effects may happen. This drug cannot be taken while you are taking some other drugs. Check all the drugs you are taking with your doctor.

    Avoid

    • If you have an allergy to phenobarbital or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you have any of these health problems: A block in the airway, liver disease, porphyria, or shortness of breath.
    • If you are breast-feeding.

    Precautions

    • This drug may be habit-forming with long-term use.
    • Wear disease medical alert ID (identification).
    • If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
    • Follow laws about driving with a seizure problem.
    • If you have been taking this drug for many weeks, talk with your doctor before stopping. You may want to slowly stop this drug.
    • If you have lung disease, talk with your doctor. You may be more sensitive to this drug.
    • Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • You may not be alert. Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions until you see how this drug affects you.
    • Avoid beer, wine, mixed drinks, or other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
    • Birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control may not work to stop pregnancy. Use some other kind of birth control while taking this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.

    Side Effects

    • Feeling lightheaded, sleepy, having blurred eyesight, or a change in thinking clearly. Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert or have clear eyesight until you see how this drug affects you.
    • Feeling dizzy. Rise slowly over a few minutes when sitting or lying down. Be careful climbing.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Trouble breathing.
    • Big change in balance.
    • Change in thinking clearly and with logic.
    • Very nervous and excitable.
    • Feeling very tired or weak.
    • If seizures are worse or not the same after starting this drug.
    • Any rash.
    • Health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2010 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

    Search Site