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Phenobarbital (fee-noe-bar-bih-tal) is a generic medication produced by number of companies. It is the earliest medication still in use. In 1912, two independent teams of chemists developed the drug under the name of Luminal.

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Phenobarbital (fee-noe-bar-bih-tal) is a share medication manufactured by number of companies. The is the earliest medicine still in use. In 1912, 2 independent teams of chemists produced the drug as Luminal.

Phenobarbital is a barbiturate, a course of medications used to carry on sedation or sleepiness. This have the right to be a disadvantage, in addition to behavioral changes and the threat of tap the money seizures.

The benefits of phenobarbital room its long background of use, low cost, and also effectiveness. It has actually a long half-life, which keeps the level of medicine in the blood reasonably stable over the course of the day also when that is take away in just one everyday dose (often in ~ bedtime).



Liquid Solution

20 mg per 5 mL (milliliters)


Phenobarbital is approved in the United claims by the Food and Drug management (FDA) because that add-on therapy for partial and tonic-clonic seizures. It has been supplied alone for more than 80 years, however, come treat partial and tonic-clonic seizures. It is likewise used for treatment of status epilepticus.


Phenobarbital is easily accessible in several forms. The surname or appearance might differ from country to country, or even from manufacturer come manufacturer, yet usually the dose will certainly be the same. In the joined States, several carriers sell generic phenobarbital, in these forms:

exactly how to take and also store Phenobarbital?

Phenobarbital deserve to be taken either v food or without food, but patients must be regular each day in even if it is they take it it through food or not.

Phenobarbital is commonly taken just once a day. Most world find the sleepiness is less of a problem if they take it the phenobarbital 30 to 60 minutes prior to bedtime.

If needed, tablets may be crushed and put in foodstuffs for children. A fluid (elixir) is accessible for those that cannot sloop down pills, however. This liquid have the right to be offered with water, milk, or juice. Patients need to use the exact same standard-size medication spoon or dropper every time to get specific dose.

Patients must be cautioned if you create a brand-new prescription making use of a different strength that phenobarbital. For example, if you"ve to be prescribing 30-mg tablets and also the brand-new prescription is for 60-mg tablets, recommend the patient about how numerous phenobarbital tablets should now it is in taken.

Phenobarbital have to be stored in ~ room temperature, away from heat, straight light, and dampness. The liquid form should be prevented from freezing. Advise patients to save phenobarbital out of the with of children, since overdose is specifically dangerous in children.

Don"t use more than the physician prescribes. If one or 2 extra tablet computers or one extra spoonful of liquid space taken, contact the doctor for advice. Because that a larger overdose, call your local poison control center or emergency room best away uneven you have actually other certain directions from your doctor.

Missed sheep

Missed sheep of phenobarbital must be taken right away uneven it is nearly time because that the next dose. In that case, patients have to skip the forgotten sheep (rather 보다 taking a double dose) or contact for additional instructions.

Patients who regularly forget sheep may benefit from making use of a distinct pillbox or watch v an alarm.

mechanisms of action of Phenobarbital

The primary action of phenobarbital is to enhance the inhibitory action of gamma-aminobutyric mountain (GABA) top top neurons.

Clinical Pharmacology of Phenobarbital

Phenobarbital is metabolized in the liver and renally excreted. Mysoline is ~45% protein-bound. Phenobarbital is rapidly and also nearly totally absorbed complying with oral and also intramuscular administration. Height serum concentrations are reached in approximately 3 hours. The half-life in adult is 80-100 hours.

Efficacy the Phenobarbital

Phenobarbital has actually been offered to law due to the fact that the early decades of the 20th century. The is still typically used throughout the world because it is both effective and also low in cost. Also, most civilization need to take it it only as soon as a day, so they are less likely to miss out on doses.

When given intravenously, the is reliable in protecting against status epilepticus.

Phenobarbital is valuable in managing focal aware and also focal impaired awarenessseizures and generalized tonic-clonic seizures in patient of all ages. It has traditionally been thought about the an initial choice come treat neonatal seizures (seizures in newborn infants). Many studies have found that phenobarbital controls these seizures in about one-third that the infants.

Phenobarbital also has been widely offered to protect against recurrent febrile seizures (seizures accompanying a high fever in infants or young children). Because 2 work or much more may be required to accomplish a high enough level of medicine in the blood to manage seizures, providing phenobarbital ~ a fever starts will not be effective. Instead, it need to be provided daily. One study uncovered that 4% of kids treated v an adequate everyday dose had actually a repetition of these seizures, contrasted to 20% that untreated children. Because febrile seizures usually reason no lasting harm, however, most youngsters should not be given medication because that them.

Studies have compared phenobarbital with other antiepileptic medications for therapy of freshly diagnosed For instance, one big study contrasted phenobarbital v carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), and also primidone (Mysoline). All four medications were about equally effective when offered alone to regulate tonic-clonic seizures in adults. (phenobarbital and also phenytoin totally controlled castle in 43% of patients, compared to 48% for Carbamazepine.) Carbamazepine much more often thrived in completely controlling partial seizures, however. One-third the those who continued to take it phenobarbital for 18 month had complete control of your partial seizures, contrasted to nearly two-thirds the those who took carbamazepine.

Some doctors hesitate come prescribe phenobarbital because it has a reputation for leading to unwanted next effects, particularly drowsiness in adults and behavioral or learning difficulties in children. Side impacts are much more likely come be difficult if high doses room given—60 come 90 mg per day might be sufficient for one adult—or if as well high a dose is provided to start. It may be vital to boost the dosage an extremely slowly over numerous months. Drowsiness is an ext common once phenobarbital is very first taken or when the dose is increased, however not anyone is influenced and some civilization can take greater doses without trouble.

Phenobarbital is often used in mix with other seizure medicines if one medication does not completely control the patient"s seizures. No single combination is perfect for every patients. Sometimes a collection of combinations need to be tried before finding what is ideal for the individual. Phenobarbital does connect with countless other medications, therefore the dosages may need to be adjusted.

During the previous several decades, most doctors have recommended phenobarbital just after do the efforts several other seizure medicines since its side results often outweigh its services (except for particular groups together as an extremely young children). Because of its short cost, however, it may be used an ext frequently in instances where expense is a an essential issue, such as in developing countries.

Because phenobarbital is a barbiturate, the depresses mind function, reduce the breathing and also heart rate, and also decreases blood pressure and body temperature. As a result, the most typical side effect of phenobarbital is sleepiness or fatigue. Patients have to be cautioned around driving, operation machinery, or any other dangerous activity until they see how they reaction to this medication.

Other side results include:

depressionhyperactivity (in children)impaired attention (in children and adults)dizzinessmemory problemsdecreased sexual interest (libido)impotenceslurred speechnauseaanemiafolate deficiencyrashfeverlow calcium levels, bone loss

Phenobarbital additionally has been uncovered to minimize the effectiveness of oral contraceptives (birth regulate pills), therefore women who could end up being pregnant may want to take into consideration another kind of bear control.

Some research studies have uncovered greater difficulties with behavior and also thinking in kids taking phenobarbital 보다 in children taking various other seizure medicines. Some researches have uncovered that phenobarbital worsens pre-existing hyperactivity and aggressive tendencies. Many physicians think that phenobarbital sedates children, v a greater effect at greater doses. A number of studies have not found any kind of sedation, however, perhaps since some children come to be extra alert and their scores cancel the end those that sedated children. Nevertheless, the problems with phenobarbital must not it is in overestimated.

Taking additionally of both calcium and also vitamin D may aid to stop bone loss. Patient who have actually been acquisition phenobarbital for more than 5 years should be taken into consideration for a bone density test.

Long-term use of phenobarbital can lead to changes in the soft tissues, including:

joint pains mimicking rheumatismheel and knuckle padsfrozen shoulderDupuytren"s contracturesfibromas (fibrous tumors) that the bottom that the footPeyronie"s condition (hardening the a part of the penis)

Barbiturates like phenobarbital have the right to be addictive because of your sedative-hypnotic and also anti-anxiety effects, yet psychological dependency (a emotional craving after long-term use) is rarely in human being taking phenobarbital come treat

Physical dependence, on the various other hand, is common. Through physical dependence, a withdrawal syndrome occurs if the medicine is quit suddenly or if the dosage is high solution reduced. This withdrawal symptoms may include:

anxietyincreased love ratesweatingconfusionseizuresdeath (very rarely)

It is therefore important come taper patients off phenobarbital progressively to stop withdrawal symptoms.

Women that may come to be pregnant should be aware that researches have suggested a connection between phenobarbital and a higher-than-expected incidence of bear defects. There also is a danger to the baby from withdrawal symptom if the mother has taken phenobarbital in the last few months that pregnancy, since barbiturates overcome the placenta into the baby.

In general, it is way for patient to prevent alcohol while taking phenobarbital.

On July 10, 2008, one advisory panel to be convened through the Food and Drug administration (FDA) to review data that the FDA had previously accumulated from medicine studies showing an association in between many the the antiepileptic medicine (AEDs) and also suicidal ideation and behavior, which together are dubbed suicidality. Follow to the FDA"s Alert, among the patients with in these medicine studies, 1 the end of 1000 world taking the placebo (inactive substance) verified suicidality compared to approximately 3.5 the end of 1000 people who take it an AED. The FDA advisory panel voted to expropriate the FDA"s data in ~ its conference on July 10.

Taking antiepileptic medicines may rise the threat of having suicidal think or actions;Do no make any kind of changes come the medicine regimen without very first talking with the responsible healthcare professional;Pay close fist to any kind of day-to-day transforms in mood, behavior and actions. These changes can happen an extremely quickly so that is vital to be mindful of any sudden differences.Be mindful of typical warning signs that might be a signal for hazard of suicide. Few of these are:Talking or thinking around wanting come hurt you yourself or finish your lifeWithdrawing from friends and also familyBecoming depression or having your depression gain worseBecoming preoccupied with death and dyingGiving far prized possessions

We again urge patients and families to call their doctor prior to stopping an medication because this might possibly result in seizures and also worsening that mood.

Effects of phenobarbital on other drugsBecause phenobarbital accelerates hepatic metabolism, it will rise the clearance of:

oral contraceptivesvalproatephenytoinprimidonecarbamazepinetopiramatelamotriginetiagabinezonisamidetheophyllinewarfarinsteroids

Effects of other drugs top top PhenobarbitalValproate will increase the serum concentration that phenobarbital through inhibiting that hepatic metabolism.

On the various other hand, drugs the accelerate hepatic metabolism will lower serum concentrations of phenobarbital. This include:


AED interaction Sheets: Seizure drugs space often affected by drug-drug interactions. Publish these many information sheets for valuable help.

Phenobarbital is helpful in controlling straightforward and complex partial seizures and generalized tonic-clonic seizures in children. It has actually traditionally been considered the an initial choice to treat neonatal seizures (seizures in newborn infants). Many studies have found that phenobarbital controls this seizures in around one-third the the infants.

Phenobarbital also has been widely supplied to protect against recurrent febrile seizures (seizures accompanying a high heat in babies or young children). Due to the fact that 2 job or much more may be required to accomplish a high enough level of medication in the blood to regulate seizures, providing phenobarbital after ~ a fever begins will not be effective. Instead, it should be offered daily. One study found that 4% of kids treated through an adequate daily dose had actually a repeat of this seizures, compared to 20% of untreated children. Due to the fact that febrile seizures usually reason no lasting harm, however, most youngsters should not be provided medication because that them.

Some medical professionals hesitate come prescribe phenobarbital because that children since it has actually a reputation for causing behavioral or learning troubles in children. Some studies have found that phenobarbital worsens pre-existing hyperactivity and aggressive tendencies. Countless physicians think that phenobarbital sedates children, with a greater effect at higher doses. A variety of studies have actually not found any sedation, however, perhaps because some children end up being extra alert and also their scores cancel out those the sedated children. Nevertheless, the problems with phenobarbital need to not it is in overestimated.

Nevertheless, some research studies have uncovered subtle learning impairments in youngsters who are provided phenobarbital over a lengthy period, so various other seizure medicines may be desired as a very first choice for long-term use in children.

Side impacts are much much more likely to be difficult if high sheep are provided or if as well high a sheep is provided to start. It might be essential to increase the dosage very slowly over several months. Dosages for kids are based upon weight: the usual dose for children is 1 come 6 mg per kilogram (2.2 pounds) the body load per day.

Women that may come to be pregnant need to be mindful that research studies have argued a connection in between phenobarbital and also a higher-than-expected incidence of birth defects.

The hazard of defects is higher for women that take number of medicines, and for women through a family background of birth defects.

Women that are capable of ending up being pregnant must be recommend to take 400 mcg (0.4 mg) that folic mountain (folate) day-to-day to assist prevent neural pipe defects. Females at high risk, such together those through a background of a neural pipe defect in a vault pregnancy, must take 4000 mcg (4 mg) daily, beginning before they become pregnant.

Check the levels of Mysoline in the woman"s blood in ~ intervals during pregnancy, since changes in she body may impact them. Dosage adjustments may be required to stop seizures or next effects.

During the critical month the pregnancy, the woman should take 10 mg per day that vitamin K to protect against a bleeding disorder the affects part babies born to mother who are taking anticonvulsants.

No studies have actually been perform to demonstrate the effect of certain AEDs throughout labor and delivery. Feasible causes that seizures include:

failure or i can not qualify to take it medicationsleep deprivationhyperventilationstresspain

There also is a risk to the infant from withdrawal symptom if the mother has taken phenobarbital in the last few months of pregnancy, due to the fact that phenobarbital the cross the placenta into the baby.

Since phenobarbital to reduce the efficiency of oral contraceptives (birth manage pills), women of childbearing potential have to be especially cautious.

Seniors are at certain risk because that the following troubles with phenobarbital:

More possibilities for drug interactions. Commonly seniors can proceed to take it all your medications, consisting of phenobarbital, if the dosage are readjusted to compensate for the effects of interactions.Greater susceptibility to next effects. Some typical side results of phenobarbital, such as sleepiness or unsteadiness, may exacerbate pre-existing problems.Greater peril of injury from drops or other accidents resulting from side effects.

Lower doses are normally required.

Abstracts of write-ups relevant come this object are easily accessible through PubMed, a business of the nationwide Library that Medicine:

Herranz JL, Armijo JA, Arteaga R. Clinical side impacts of phenobarbital, primidone, phenytoin, carbamazepine, and also valproate during monotherapy in children. Epilepsia. 1988 Nov-Dec;29(6):794-804. PMID: 3142761.

In this study of almost 400 children, 64% the those who took phenobarbital had actually some kind of side effect but only 4% had to protect against taking the medication. The kids who took phenobarbital had more behavioral disorders 보다 the other children, consisting of excitement at short blood levels and depression in ~ high levels.

Vining EP, Mellitis ED, Dorsen MM. Psychologic and also behavioral results of antiepileptic drugs in children: a double-blind comparison between phenobarbital and valproic acid. Pediatrics. 1987 Aug;80(2):165-74. PMID: 3112727.

In this study, 21 youngsters with every took phenobarbital and also valproic mountain (Depakote) during separate 6-month periods. The researchers uncovered subtle but far-ranging changes in intellectual function and behavior. While acquisition phenobarbital, the children did no seem to be sedated yet they did considerably less fine on tests of thinking than as soon as they were acquisition Depakote. They also showed much more hyperactivity and also worse behavior.

Mattson, RH, Cramer, JA, et al. To compare of carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin and primidone in partial and secondarily generalized tonic clonic seizures. New England journal of Medicine313:145-151, 1985. PMID: 3925335.

Phenobarbital was as efficient as the other drugs for generalized tonic-clonic seizures in adults, but it was much less likely 보다 carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol) to fully control partial seizures. It had fewer intolerable side impacts than primidone (Mysoline).

Mitchell WG, Chavez JM. Carbamazepine matches phenobarbital for partial beginning seizures in children. Epilepsia. 1987 Jan-Feb;28(1):56-60. PMID: 3098555.

Some individuals taking every medication showed alters in habits or cognition, but overall the groups of youngsters taking one of these two drugs did no differ significantly.

In the unified States, service providers that manufacture drugs are compelled to publish particular kinds the information about each product. This document is commonly known as a “package insert” due to the fact that it is usually had with each package of the medicine.

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You can also read these papers (also called "prescribing information") online. The U.S. Parcel insert for phenobarbital is found at:

Some of the info may differ in various other countries.

The an overview of package attributes can be obtained in any kind of European language from: