previous page: Perphenazine Description
page up: Drugs and Herbs Manual
next page: Phentermine Description

Phenobarbital Description

Phenobarbital Description


Pronunciation : (fee noe bar' bi tal)

Trade Name(s) : Gardenal, Luminal, Luminalettes

Why it is prescribed: Phenobarbital, a barbiturate, acts on the brain and central nervous system. It is used to control epileptic seizures and as a sedative to relieve anxiety.

When it is to be taken:
1. Phenobarbital usually is taken one to three times a day. If you take phenobarbital once a day, take it at bedtime.
2. Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor to explain any part that you do not understand.
3. If you are taking phenobarbital to control convulsions or seizures, follow the exact schedule prescribed by your doctor.
4. The medication must be taken regularly to be effective.
5. Contact your doctor if you have convulsions or seizures while taking phenobarbital.

How it should be taken: Phenobarbital comes in the form of tablets, capsules, and oral liquid. Your prescription label tells you how much to take at each dose. You may obtain a specially marked measuring spoon to be sure of an accurate dose of the liquid.

Special Instruction :
1. Because phenobarbital can be habit-forming, do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than as directed.
2. Do not stop taking this drug without consulting your doctor, especially if you have been taking it for a long time.
3. Your doctor probably will want to decrease your dose gradually.
4. Phenobarbital can cause drowsiness, especially when you first take it. Do not drive a car or operate dangerous machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
5. If you are to take phenobarbital for a long time, keep all appointments with your doctor so that your response to the drug can be checked.
6. If you forget to take a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it and take the remaining doses for that day at evenly spaced intervals. However, if you remember a missed dose at the time you are scheduled to take the next one, take only the regularly scheduled dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

Side Effects :
1. Drowsiness, headache, depression, excitement, dizziness, joint or muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, nightmares, increased dreaming. Contact your doctor if these effects are severe or persist.
2. Skin rash, itching, sore throat, fever, easy bruising, bloody nose, unusual bleeding, signs of infection. Contact your doctor immediately.

Other Precautions :
1. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should inform their doctors. If you become pregnant while taking phenobarbital, contact your doctor immediately.
2. Phenobarbital can interact with many drugs. Before you take it, tell your doctor what prescription and nonprescription drugs you are taking, including anticoagulants, birth-control pills, antihistamines, sedatives, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, steroids, medication for depression, and other seizure medication.
3. Do not drink alcoholic beverages; alcohol adds to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
4. Before taking phenobarbital, tell your doctor if you have pain; kidney, liver, or lung disease; or asthma.
5. Do not allow anyone else to take this medication.

Storage Conditions : Keep this medication in the container it came in and out of the reach of children.

previous page: Perphenazine Description
page up: Drugs and Herbs Manual
next page: Phentermine Description