Generic Name: secobarbital (SEE koe BAR bi tal)Brand Names: Seconal Sodium
Secobarbital is in a group of drugs called barbiturates (bar-BIT-chur-ates). Secobarbital slows the activity of your brain and nervous system.
Secobarbital is used short-term to treat insomnia, or as a sedative before surgery.
Secobarbital may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Some people using this medicine have engaged in activity such as driving, and later having no memory of the activity. If this happens to you, stop taking secobarbital and talk with your doctor about another treatment for your sleep disorder.Do not use secobarbital without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could cause harm to the unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Secobarbital can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormone method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking secobarbital. Secobarbital may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Secobarbital should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.
Some people using this medicine have engaged in activity such as driving, and later having no memory of the activity. If this happens to you, stop taking secobarbital and talk with your doctor about another treatment for your sleep disorder.Do not take this medication if you are allergic to secobarbital, or if you have porphyria.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take secobarbital:
severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), or other breathing disorder;
a blood cell disorder such as anemia (lack of red blood cells);
epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
a history of depression, mental illness, or suicide attempt; or
a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.Take secobarbital only when you are getting ready for several hours of sleep. You may fall asleep very quickly after taking the medicine. Take this medicine with a full glass of water.
If you are taking this medicine to treat insomnia, take it only at bedtime. Do not use secobarbital for longer than 2 weeks to treat insomnia, unless your doctor has told you to.
Do not change your dose of secobarbital without your doctor's advice. Tell your doctor if the medication does not seem to work as well in treating your condition.Store secobarbital at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Keep track of how many pills have been used from each new bottle of this medicine. Secobarbital is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if any person in the household is using this medicine improperly or without a prescription.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Take secobarbital only when you are getting ready for several hours of sleep. If you do not have time to get a full night's sleep after taking the medication, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled sleep time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Overdose symptoms may include slow or shallow breathing, blurred vision, extreme drowsiness, feeling light-headed, or fainting.
restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;
slow heartbeat, shallow breathing;
feeling like you might pass out;
a fever or a sore throat;
sores in your mouth;
easy bruising or bleeding; or
ongoing nightmares or increased dreaming.
Less serious side effects may include:
drowsiness or dizziness;
problems with memory or concentration;
excitement (especially in children or older adults);
upset stomach, constipation;
"hangover" effect (drowsiness the day after a dose).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Many drugs can interact with secobarbital. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:
a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);
an antibiotic such as doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Mondox, Oracea, Vibramycin, and others), griseofulvin (Grisactin, Fulvicin PG, Grifulvin V), or metronidazole (Flagyl);
birth control pills or estrogen hormone replacement, including estrogen (Premarin), estradiol (Estrace, Femtrace, and others), progesterone (Progest, Prometrium), and others;
theophylline (Theo-Dur, Theochron, Theolair, Slo-Bid, others);
a heart rhythm medication such as quinidine (Cardioquin, Quinidex, Quinora, Quinaglute);
seizure medications such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol), divalproex (Depakote), phenytoin (Dilantin), or valproic acid (Depakene);
heart or blood pressure medication such as atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), felodipine (Plendil) nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat), verapamil (Calan);
an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate); or
steroids such as prednisone (Orasone, Deltasone), prednisolone (Prelone, Delta Cortef), methylprednisolone (Medrol), and others.
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with secobarbital. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.