Secobarbital (By mouth)
Treats insomnia and also makes you feel sleepy before a surgery or a procedure. This medicine is a barbiturate.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to secobarbital or other barbiturates (such as phenobarbital). You should not use this medicine if you are pregnant, or if you have porphyria, liver disease, or lung disease.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.
If a dose is missed:
- This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- There are many other drugs that interact with this medicine. Make sure your doctor knows all other medicines you are using.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using a steroid medicine (such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, prednisone, or Medrol®), an antifungal medicine (such as griseofulvin, or Grifulvin V®), an antibiotic medicine (such as doxycycline, or Vibramycin®), a medicine for seizures (such as phenytoin, sodium valproate, valproic acid, Depacon®, Depakene®, or Dilantin®), or blood thinners (such as warfarin or Coumadin®).
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using an MAO inhibitor (such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®), or a hormone medicine (such as estradiol, estrone, progesterone, Estrace®, or Prometrium®).
- Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, severe pain in any part of your body, severe depression, or a history of drug addiction.
- This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have itching, hives, trouble breathing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth when you take this medicine.
- This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert. This medicine may also cause sleep-related behaviors such as sleep-driving, making phone calls, or preparing and eating food while asleep or not fully awake. If these reactions occur, tell your doctor right away.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
- This medicine may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions.
- Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Abnormal behavior or problems with speech.
- Anxiety or agitation.
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
- Lightheadedness or fainting.
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain in your upper stomach.
- Pale skin or pale lip color.
- Slow heartbeat.
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Confusion or trouble sleeping.
- Fever or headache.
- Mild nausea or constipation.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013