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What are barbiturates?
They are substances that come from barbituric acid. They are a depressant which affects the central nervous system in a number of ways.
These effects vary from user to user and depending on the dose, can cause light sedation to complete anesthesia. This type of drug is often prescribed for people with sleep disorders and to combat pain. Some forms of barbituric acid can be found in common medications such as aspirin.
What are some types of barbiturates?
Certain over-the-counter medications may contain barbiturates, marketed as pain relievers. Over time, taking these medications can cause someone to form an addiction. This is one of the reasons why this type of drug is not commonly prescribed anymore; if a patient is in a deep enough addiction, taking the drug away could cause life-threatening complications. Thus, there are tighter restrictions on over-the-counter barbiturates. Read the labels on any pain suppressants being considered.
The majority of medications that can be classified as barbiturates fall under this category. These medications can be used to treat a number of things, including anxiety, muscle pain, epilepsy, and sleep disorders. Prescription barbiturates have not been as often recommended in recent years because of the severe danger of addiction. Instead, many medical professionals prefer to prescribe something like a benzodiazepine.
Barbiturates go under a number of strict names, including downers, yellow eyes, red birds, Barb’s, Mexican yellows, and many other names.
Fioricet: This is a combination drug that mixes acetaminophen, caffeine, and some sort of barbiturate. The strongest is commonly used for treating headaches and migraines. When combining caffeine and a barbiturates the mixture tends to have highly addictive qualities, therefore it can be particularly dangerous for those susceptible to addiction. Therefore, it’s best not to be on this drug for extended periods of time.
Amytal : This barbiturate has sedating properties, and was one of the earliest barbiturates to be abused and put on the black market. Amytal, also known as Amobarbital, can cause an addiction when abused for a long period of time. Withdrawal symptoms could potentially be fatal.
Butisol: This barbiturate is often used as a sleep aid. It is fairly rare in modern times, likely because it’s extremely dangerous when combined with alcohol.
Nembutal: A very strong depressant that is known to cause reduced breathing in high enough doses. This particular barbiturate has limited medical uses, but has been used in euthanasia and can treat traumatic brain injury.
Seconal: Similar Nembutal in that it has been used as a form of euthanasia, it has sedative and anesthetic properties. This drug was highly abused during the 60s and 70s and it was responsible for a number of overdoses. Withdrawal symptoms are potentially fatal and include tremors, lack of appetite, anxiety and potentially death.
Donnatal: A barbiturate used to prevent spasms and, in particular, intestinal cramping. It was highly used in the mid-70s to treat irritable bowel syndrome and is still commonly prescribed today to manage gastroenteritis.
Symptoms & Signs of Barbiturates use:
Even when the use of this drug is closely monitored, its use can turn into abuse.
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