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Secobarbital

Medically reviewed on Nov 15, 2018

Pronunciation

(see koe BAR bi tal)

Index Terms

  • Quinalbarbitone Sodium
  • Secobarbital Sodium

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Capsule, Oral, as sodium:

Seconal: 100 mg [contains fd&c yellow #10 (quinoline yellow)]

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Seconal

Pharmacologic Category

  • Barbiturate

Pharmacology

Depresses CNS activity by binding to barbiturate site at GABA-receptor complex enhancing GABA activity, depressing reticular activity system; higher doses may be gabamimetic

Absorption

Oral: Well absorbed (90%)

Distribution

Vd: Adults: 1.5 L/kg

Metabolism

Hepatic, by microsomal enzyme system

Excretion

Urine (as inactive metabolites, small amounts as unchanged drug)

Onset of Action

Onset of hypnosis: Oral: 10 to 15 minutes

Time to Peak

Serum concentration: Oral: Within 2 to 4 hours

Duration of Action

Hypnosis: Oral: 3 to 4 hours with 100 mg dose

Half-Life Elimination

Children: 2 to 13 years: 2.7 to 13.5 hours

Adults: 15 to 40 hours, mean: 28 hours

Protein Binding

45% to 60%

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to barbiturates or any component of the formulation; marked hepatic impairment; dyspnea or airway obstruction; porphyria

Dosing: Adult

Use of secobarbital is either no longer recommended or has been supplanted by other more contemporary agents; dosing is not provided.

Dosing: Geriatric

Use of secobarbital is either no longer recommended or has been supplanted by other more contemporary agents; dosing is not provided.

Dosing: Renal Impairment

Use of secobarbital is either no longer recommended or has been supplanted by other more contemporary agents; dosing is not provided.

Dosing: Hepatic Impairment

Use of secobarbital is either no longer recommended or has been supplanted by other more contemporary agents; dosing is not provided.

Storage

Store at controlled room temperature of 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F).

Drug Interactions

Alcohol (Ethyl): CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Alcohol (Ethyl). Monitor therapy

Alizapride: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Azelastine (Nasal): CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Azelastine (Nasal). Avoid combination

Beta-Blockers: Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of Beta-Blockers. Exceptions: Atenolol; Levobunolol; Metipranolol; Nadolol. Monitor therapy

Blonanserin: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Blonanserin. Consider therapy modification

Blood Pressure Lowering Agents: Barbiturates may enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Brimonidine (Topical): May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Bromopride: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Bromperidol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Avoid combination

Buprenorphine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Buprenorphine. Management: Consider reduced doses of other CNS depressants, and avoiding such drugs in patients at high risk of buprenorphine overuse/self-injection. Initiate buprenorphine patches (Butrans brand) at 5 mcg/hr in adults when used with other CNS depressants. Consider therapy modification

Calcium Channel Blockers: Barbiturates may increase the metabolism of Calcium Channel Blockers. Management: Monitor for decreased therapeutic effects of calcium channel blockers with concomitant barbiturate therapy. Calcium channel blocker dose adjustments may be necessary. Nimodipine Canadian labeling contraindicates concomitant use with phenobarbital. Exceptions: Clevidipine. Monitor therapy

Cannabidiol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Cannabis: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Chloramphenicol (Systemic): May decrease the metabolism of Barbiturates. Barbiturates may increase the metabolism of Chloramphenicol (Systemic). Consider therapy modification

Chlormethiazole: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Monitor closely for evidence of excessive CNS depression. The chlormethiazole labeling states that an appropriately reduced dose should be used if such a combination must be used. Consider therapy modification

Chlorphenesin Carbamate: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

CNS Depressants: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of other CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

CycloSPORINE (Systemic): Barbiturates may increase the metabolism of CycloSPORINE (Systemic). Consider therapy modification

Dimethindene (Topical): May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Doxycycline: Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of Doxycycline. Consider therapy modification

Doxylamine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: The manufacturer of Diclegis (doxylamine/pyridoxine), intended for use in pregnancy, specifically states that use with other CNS depressants is not recommended. Monitor therapy

Dronabinol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Droperidol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Consider dose reductions of droperidol or of other CNS agents (eg, opioids, barbiturates) with concomitant use. Exceptions to this monograph are discussed in further detail in separate drug interaction monographs. Consider therapy modification

Estrogen Derivatives (Contraceptive): Barbiturates may diminish the therapeutic effect of Estrogen Derivatives (Contraceptive). Contraceptive failure is possible. Management: Use of a non-hormonal contraceptive is recommended. Consider therapy modification

Felbamate: May increase the serum concentration of Barbiturates. Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of Felbamate. Management: Monitor for elevated barbiturate concentrations/toxicity if felbamate is initiated/dose increased, or reduced concentrations/effects if felbamate is discontinued/dose decreased. Refer to phenobarbital dosing guidelines for patients receiving that agent. Monitor therapy

Flunitrazepam: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Flunitrazepam. Consider therapy modification

Griseofulvin: Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of Griseofulvin. Monitor therapy

Hemin: Barbiturates may diminish the therapeutic effect of Hemin. Avoid combination

HYDROcodone: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of HYDROcodone. Management: Avoid concomitant use of hydrocodone and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

HydrOXYzine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of Barbiturates. Management: Consider a decrease in the barbiturate dose, as appropriate, when used together with hydroxyzine. With concurrent use, monitor patients closely for excessive response to the combination. Consider therapy modification

Kava Kava: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

LamoTRIgine: Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of LamoTRIgine. Management: See lamotrigine prescribing information for specific age-dependent dosing guidelines regarding concurrent use with a barbiturate, as well as for adjusting lamotrigine dosing if concurrent barbiturate therapy is discontinued. Consider therapy modification

Lofexidine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Drugs listed as exceptions to this monograph are discussed in further detail in separate drug interaction monographs. Monitor therapy

Magnesium Sulfate: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Methotrimeprazine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Methotrimeprazine. Methotrimeprazine may enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Reduce adult dose of CNS depressant agents by 50% with initiation of concomitant methotrimeprazine therapy. Further CNS depressant dosage adjustments should be initiated only after clinically effective methotrimeprazine dose is established. Consider therapy modification

Methoxyflurane: Barbiturates may enhance the nephrotoxic effect of Methoxyflurane. Barbiturates may increase the metabolism of Methoxyflurane. Avoid combination

MetyroSINE: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of MetyroSINE. Monitor therapy

Mianserin: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of Barbiturates. Mianserin may diminish the therapeutic effect of Barbiturates. Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of Mianserin. Avoid combination

Minocycline: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Mirtazapine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Mirtazapine. Monitor therapy

Multivitamins/Minerals (with ADEK, Folate, Iron): May decrease the serum concentration of Barbiturates. Monitor therapy

Nabilone: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Opioid Analgesics: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Opioid Analgesics. Management: Avoid concomitant use of opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

Orphenadrine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Orphenadrine. Avoid combination

Oxomemazine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Avoid combination

OxyCODONE: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of OxyCODONE. Management: Avoid concomitant use of oxycodone and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

Paraldehyde: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Paraldehyde. Avoid combination

Perampanel: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Patients taking perampanel with any other drug that has CNS depressant activities should avoid complex and high-risk activities, particularly those such as driving that require alertness and coordination, until they have experience using the combination. Consider therapy modification

Piribedil: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Piribedil. Monitor therapy

Pramipexole: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of Pramipexole. Monitor therapy

Primidone: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Barbiturates. Primidone is converted to phenobarbital, and thus becomes additive with existing barbiturate therapy. Monitor therapy

Progestins (Contraceptive): Barbiturates may diminish the therapeutic effect of Progestins (Contraceptive). Contraceptive failure is possible. Management: Use of alternative, nonhormonal contraceptives is recommended. Consider therapy modification

Propacetamol: Barbiturates may increase the metabolism of Propacetamol. This may 1) diminish the desired effects of propacetamol; and 2) increase the risk of liver damage. Monitor therapy

Pyridoxine: May increase the metabolism of Barbiturates. Apparent in high pyridoxine doses (eg, 200 mg/day) Monitor therapy

Rifamycin Derivatives: May increase the metabolism of Barbiturates. Monitor therapy

ROPINIRole: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of ROPINIRole. Monitor therapy

Rotigotine: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of Rotigotine. Monitor therapy

Rufinamide: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CNS Depressants. Specifically, sleepiness and dizziness may be enhanced. Monitor therapy

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: CNS Depressants may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Specifically, the risk of psychomotor impairment may be enhanced. Monitor therapy

Sodium Oxybate: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Consider alternatives to combined use. When combined use is needed, consider minimizing doses of one or more drugs. Use of sodium oxybate with alcohol or sedative hypnotics is contraindicated. Consider therapy modification

Somatostatin Acetate: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Barbiturates. Specifically, Somatostatin Acetate may enhance or prolong Barbiturate effects, including sedative effects. Avoid combination

Suvorexant: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Suvorexant. Management: Dose reduction of suvorexant and/or any other CNS depressant may be necessary. Use of suvorexant with alcohol is not recommended, and the use of suvorexant with any other drug to treat insomnia is not recommended. Consider therapy modification

Tapentadol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Avoid concomitant use of tapentadol and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

Teniposide: Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of Teniposide. Management: Consider alternatives to combined treatment with barbiturates and teniposide due to the potential for decreased teniposide concentrations. If the combination cannot be avoided, monitor teniposide response closely. Consider therapy modification

Tetrahydrocannabinol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Thalidomide: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Thalidomide. Avoid combination

Theophylline Derivatives: Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of Theophylline Derivatives. Exceptions: Dyphylline. Monitor therapy

Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics: Barbiturates may enhance the orthostatic hypotensive effect of Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics. Monitor therapy

Tricyclic Antidepressants: Barbiturates may increase the metabolism of Tricyclic Antidepressants. Consider therapy modification

Trimeprazine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Ulipristal: Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of Ulipristal. Avoid combination

Valproate Products: May increase the serum concentration of Barbiturates. Barbiturates may decrease the serum concentration of Valproate Products. Monitor therapy

Vitamin K Antagonists (eg, warfarin): Barbiturates may increase the metabolism of Vitamin K Antagonists. Management: Monitor INR more closely. An anticoagulant dose increase may be needed after a barbiturate is initiated or given at an increased dose. Anticoagulant dose decreases may be needed following barbiturate discontinuation or dose reduction. Consider therapy modification

Zolpidem: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Zolpidem. Management: Reduce the Intermezzo brand sublingual zolpidem adult dose to 1.75 mg for men who are also receiving other CNS depressants. No such dose change is recommended for women. Avoid use with other CNS depressants at bedtime; avoid use with alcohol. Consider therapy modification

Adverse Reactions

1% to 10%: Central nervous system: Drowsiness (1% to 3%)

<1%, postmarketing, and/or case reports: Abnormality in thinking, agitation, angioedema, anxiety, apnea, ataxia, bradycardia, central nervous system depression, sleep disorder (complex sleep-related behaviors, including cooking, driving, eating, and making phone calls while sleeping), confusion, constipation, dizziness, exfoliative dermatitis, fever, hallucination, headache, hepatotoxicity, hyperexcitability, hyperkinesis, hypotension, hypoventilation, insomnia, megaloblastic anemia, nausea, nervousness, nightmares, pain at injection site, skin rash, syncope, vomiting

Warnings/Precautions

Concerns related to adverse effects:

• CNS depression: May cause CNS depression, which may impair physical or mental abilities; patients must be cautioned about performing tasks which require mental alertness (eg, operating machinery or driving).

• Hypersensitivity reactions: Postmarketing studies have indicated that the use of hypnotic/sedative agents for sleep has been associated with hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis as well as angioedema.

• Paradoxical responses: May cause paradoxical responses, including agitation and hyperactivity, particularly in acute pain, chronic pain and pediatric patients.

• Sleep-related activities: An increased risk for hazardous sleep-related activities such as sleep-driving; cooking and eating food, and making phone calls while asleep have also been noted. Discontinue treatment in patients who report a sleep-driving episode.

Disease-related concerns:

• Cardiovascular disease: Use with caution in patients with cardiovascular disease; may cause hypotension.

• Depression: Use with caution in patients with depression or suicidal tendencies.

• Drug abuse: Use with caution in patients with a history of drug abuse or acute alcoholism; potential for drug dependency exists. Tolerance, psychological and physical dependence may occur with prolonged use.

• Hepatic impairment: Use with caution in patients with hepatic impairment.

• Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with renal impairment.

• Respiratory disease: Use with caution in patients with respiratory disease; may cause respiratory depression.

Concurrent drug therapy issues:

• Sedatives: Effects may be potentiated when used with other sedative drugs or ethanol.

Special populations:

• Pediatric: Use with caution in children.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Appropriate use: Symptomatic treatment of insomnia should be initiated only after careful evaluation of potential causes of sleep disturbance. Failure of sleep disturbance to resolve after 7-10 days may indicate psychiatric and/or medical illness.

• Withdrawal: Abrupt cessation may precipitate withdrawal, including status epilepticus in epileptic patients.

Monitoring Parameters

Blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, CNS status; liver function, renal function

Pregnancy Risk Factor

D

Pregnancy Considerations

Barbiturates can be detected in the placenta, fetal liver, and fetal brain. Fetal and maternal blood concentrations may be similar following parenteral administration. An increased incidence of fetal abnormalities may occur following maternal use. When used during the third trimester of pregnancy, withdrawal symptoms may occur in the neonate including seizures and hyperirritability; symptoms may be delayed up to 14 days. Use during labor does not impair uterine activity; however, respiratory depression may occur in the newborn; resuscitation equipment should be available, especially for premature infants.

Patient Education

• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)

• Patient may experience fatigue, dizziness, headache, loss of strength and energy, dry mouth, or nausea. Have patient report immediately to prescriber signs of depression (suicidal ideation, anxiety, emotional instability, or illogical thinking), engaging in activities and not remembering, agitation, anxiety, behavioral changes, confusion, hallucinations, or memory impairment (HCAHPS).

• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.

Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for health care professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience, and judgment in diagnosing, treating, and advising patients.

Further information

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

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