Generic Name: Secobarbital (see koe BAR bi tal)
Brand Name: Seconal
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 22, 2019.
Uses of Seconal:
- It is used to treat sleep problems.
- It is used to calm you before a procedure.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Seconal?
For all uses of Seconal (secobarbital):
- If you have an allergy to secobarbital or any other part of Seconal (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 are taking any other drugs that can make you sleepy. There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
- 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 Seconal (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 Seconal (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 Seconal?
For all uses of Seconal (secobarbital):
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Seconal (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 Seconal (secobarbital). You may still feel sleepy the day after you take Seconal (secobarbital). Avoid these tasks or actions until you feel fully awake.
- This medicine may be habit-forming with long-term use.
- Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Seconal (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.
- This medicine may affect how much of some other drugs are in your body. If you are taking other drugs, talk with your doctor. You may need to have your blood work checked more closely while taking Seconal (secobarbital) with your other drugs.
- If you are 65 or older, use Seconal (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 Seconal (secobarbital).
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking Seconal (secobarbital), call your doctor right away.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
- Have your blood work checked if you are on Seconal (secobarbital) for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
- When sleep drugs are used nightly for more than a few weeks, they may not work as well to help sleep problems. This is known as tolerance. Only use sleep drugs for a short time. If sleep problems last, call the doctor.
- If you have been taking Seconal (secobarbital) for many weeks, talk with your doctor before stopping. You may want to slowly stop Seconal (secobarbital).
How is this medicine (Seconal) best taken?
Use Seconal (secobarbital) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Use Seconal (secobarbital) only for short periods of time (7 to 10 days).
- If you still have trouble sleeping after 7 to 10 days, call your doctor.
- Take Seconal (secobarbital) at bedtime.
- Take Seconal (secobarbital) right before you get into bed.
- Do not take Seconal (secobarbital) unless you can get a full night's sleep (at least 7 to 8 hours) before you need to be active again.
- Take Seconal (secobarbital) before surgery as you have been told by your doctor.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- If you take Seconal (secobarbital) on a regular basis, take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If you will not be able to get a full night's sleep (at least 7 hours) after taking the missed 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 Seconal (secobarbital) is taken on an as needed basis. Do not take more often than told by the doctor.
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
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.
- New or worse behavior or mood changes like depression or thoughts of killing yourself.
- Feeling confused.
- Feeling agitated.
- Feeling nervous and excitable.
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
- Memory problems or loss.
What are some other side effects of Seconal?
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.
- 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.
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 Seconal?
- 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 Seconal (secobarbital) is refilled. If you have any questions about Seconal (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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.