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Secobarbital

Generic Name: Secobarbital (see koe BAR bi tal)
Brand Name: Seconal

Medically reviewed on Sep 5, 2018

Uses of Secobarbital:

  • It is used to treat sleep problems.
  • It is used to calm you before care.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Secobarbital?

  • If you have an allergy to secobarbital or any other part of secobarbital.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like 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, or shortness of breath.
  • If you have ever had porphyria.
  • If you do not have time to get a full night's sleep.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with secobarbital.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take secobarbital with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Secobarbital?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take secobarbital. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert after you take secobarbital. You may still feel sleepy the day after you take secobarbital. Avoid these tasks or actions until you feel fully awake.
  • Have your blood work checked if you are on secobarbital for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
  • This medicine may be habit-forming with long-term use.
  • Use secobarbital for short periods of time. If signs show up again, talk with the doctor.
  • If you have been taking secobarbital for many weeks, talk with your doctor before stopping. You may want to slowly stop secobarbital.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking secobarbital.
  • Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
  • Some people have done certain tasks or actions while they were not fully awake like driving, making and eating food, and having sex. Most of the time, people do not remember doing these things. Tell your doctor if this happens to you.
  • If you are 65 or older, use secobarbital with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control may not work as well to prevent pregnancy. Use some other kind of birth control also like a condom when taking secobarbital.
  • This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using secobarbital while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is this medicine (Secobarbital) best taken?

Use secobarbital as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take with or without food.
  • Take 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime if using for sleep. Do not take for more than 2 weeks in a row.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Many times secobarbital is taken on an as needed basis. Do not take more often than every 24 hours unless told to do so by your doctor.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Change in balance.
  • Change in how you act.
  • Feeling confused.
  • Bad dreams.
  • Feeling nervous and excitable.
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
  • Not able to sleep.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Slow heartbeat.
  • Memory problems or loss.

What are some other side effects of Secobarbital?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Feeling sleepy.
  • Feeling sleepy the next day.
  • Dizziness.
  • Headache.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Upset stomach.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Secobarbital?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time secobarbital is refilled. If you have any questions about secobarbital, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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