The risk of side effects of barbiturates is higher in older patients and among pregnant women. This is because with age the ability to excrete and eliminate the drugs from the system decreases.
Barbiturates carry a risk of psychological and physical addiction. The risk of a fatal overdose is higher with barbiturates than other drugs as the difference between a safe dose and a deadly one is small.
According to MedicineNet, potential side effects of barbiturates include:
Major Potential Hazard, High plausibility. The use of barbiturates is contraindicated in patients with acute alcohol intoxication exhibiting depressed vital signs. The central nervous system depressant effects of barbiturates may be additive with those of alcohol. Severe respiratory depression and death may occur.
Barbiturate overdose may occur by accident or purposefully in an attempt to cause death. The toxic effects are additive to those of alcohol and benzodiazepines. The lethal dose varies with a person’s tolerance and how the drug is taken. The effects of barbiturates occur via the GABA neurotransmitter.
Barbiturates are a group of drugs in the class of drugs known as sedative-hypnotics, which generally describes their sleep-inducing and anxiety-decreasing effects. Barbiturates can be extremely dangerous because the correct dose is difficult to predict. Even a slight overdose can cause coma or death.
The primary difference between the two is that benzodiazepines do not stimulate the GABA receptor directly, they simply make GABA receptors more efficient. Benzodiazepines still produce a calming effect but don’t have as depressive an effect on the central nervous system as barbiturates do.
In addition to the calming effects of barbiturates, some individuals may also experience a wide range of adverse, short-term side effects, including:
Recent studies have found an increase in risk for psychosis in cannabis users. F13. 5 sedatives/hypnotics (barbiturates; benzodiazepines): It is also important to this topic to understand the paradoxical effects of some sedative drugs.
Because all CNS depressants work by slowing the brain’s activity, when an individual stops taking them, the brain’s activity can rebound and race out of control, potentially leading to seizures and other harmful consequences.
Do not take barbiturates if you are allergic to amobarbital (Amytal), secobarbital (Seconal), butabarbital (Butisol), pentobarbital (Nembutal), belladonna and phenobarbital (Donnatal), butalbital/acetaminophen/caffeine (Esgic, Fioricet), and butalbital/aspirin/caffeine (Fiorinal Ascomp, Fortabs) or any ingredients
Although many people view barbiturates as somewhat of a drug of the past, they are still being prescribed, and they are still being abused.
Examples of barbiturates available in the US include:
Overdose from barbiturates often involves multi-drug use, especially if barbiturates are combined with alcohol, opiates, hydrocodone or oxycodone, as all of these drugs can cause respiratory depression and suppress breathing.
The toxic dose of barbiturates varies. However, an oral dose of one gram for most barbiturates can cause significant poisoning in an adult. Fatal cases of ingestion have occurred with doses ranging between 2.0 and 10.0 grams; the usual lethal blood level ranges from 40 to 80 mcg/mL.
Barbiturates act by depressing the central nervous system, particularly on certain portions of the brain, though they tend to depress the functioning of all the body’s tissues. Most of them exert a sedative effect in small doses and a hypnotic effect in larger doses.