Barbiturate

barbituratesbarbiturate withdrawalsleeping pillsleeping pillsbarbiturate overdosebarbituricbarbituric acid derivativedownersgoof ballsgoofballs
A barbiturate is a drug that acts as a central nervous system depressant, and can therefore produce a wide range of effects, from mild sedation to death.wikipedia
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Hypnotic

sleeping pillssleeping pillsoporific
Barbiturates are effective as anxiolytics, hypnotics, and anticonvulsants, but have physical and psychological addiction potential as well as overdose potential among other possible adverse effects. Barbiturates such as phenobarbital were long used as anxiolytics and hypnotics.
Early classes of drugs, such as barbiturates, have fallen out of use in most practices but are still prescribed for some patients.

Barbiturate overdose

overdose of barbituratesbarbiturate poisoningacute barbiturate poisoning
They have largely been replaced by benzodiazepines and nonbenzodiazepines ("Z-drugs") in routine medical practice, particularly in the treatment of anxiety and insomnia, due to the significantly lower risk of addiction and overdose and the lack of an antidote for barbiturate overdose.
Barbiturate overdose is poisoning due to excessive doses of barbiturates.

Anxiolytic

anxiolysisanti-anxietyanxiolytics
Barbiturates are effective as anxiolytics, hypnotics, and anticonvulsants, but have physical and psychological addiction potential as well as overdose potential among other possible adverse effects. Barbiturates such as phenobarbital were long used as anxiolytics and hypnotics.
There are concerns that some GABAergics, such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates, may have an anxiogenic effect if used over long periods of time.

Lethal injection

Executed by lethal injectionlethal injectionsdeath by lethal injection
Barbiturates in high doses are used for physician-assisted suicide, and in combination with a muscle relaxant for euthanasia and for capital punishment by lethal injection.
Lethal injection is the practice of injecting one or more drugs into a person (typically a barbiturate, paralytic, and potassium solution) for the express purpose of causing rapid death.

Primidone

Mysoline
However, barbiturates are still used as anticonvulsants (e.g., phenobarbital and primidone) and general anesthetics (e.g., sodium thiopental).
Primidone is an anticonvulsant of the barbiturate class.

Anticonvulsant

anticonvulsantsantiepilepticantiepileptic drugs
Barbiturates are effective as anxiolytics, hypnotics, and anticonvulsants, but have physical and psychological addiction potential as well as overdose potential among other possible adverse effects.
Barbiturates are drugs that act as central nervous system (CNS) depressants, and by virtue of this they produce a wide spectrum of effects, from mild sedation to anesthesia.

Phenobarbital

phenobarbitoneLuminalHaplos
However, barbiturates are still used as anticonvulsants (e.g., phenobarbital and primidone) and general anesthetics (e.g., sodium thiopental). Barbiturates such as phenobarbital were long used as anxiolytics and hypnotics.
Phenobarbital is a barbiturate that works by increasing the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA.

Barbituric acid

1,3-dimethylbarbituric acid
The name barbiturate originates from the fact that they are all chemical derivatives of barbituric acid.
Barbituric acid is the parent compound of barbiturate drugs, although barbituric acid itself is not pharmacologically active.

Medication

pharmaceuticalpharmaceuticalspharmaceutical drug
A barbiturate is a drug that acts as a central nervous system depressant, and can therefore produce a wide range of effects, from mild sedation to death.
Drugs affecting the central nervous system include: Psychedelics, hypnotics, anaesthetics, antipsychotics, eugeroics, antidepressants (including tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, lithium salts, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)), antiemetics, Anticonvulsants/antiepileptics, anxiolytics, barbiturates, movement disorder (e.g., Parkinson's disease) drugs, stimulants (including amphetamines), benzodiazepines, cyclopyrrolones, dopamine antagonists, antihistamines, cholinergics, anticholinergics, emetics, cannabinoids, and 5-HT (serotonin) antagonists.

Delirium tremens

delerium tremensalcohol withdrawal deliriumDT
As with all GABAergic drugs, barbiturate withdrawal produces potentially fatal effects such as seizures in a manner reminiscent of delirium tremens and benzodiazepine withdrawal although its more direct mechanism of GABA agonism makes barbiturate withdrawal even more severe than that of alcohol or benzodiazepines (subsequently making it one of the most dangerous withdrawals of any known addictive substance).
A similar syndrome may occur with benzodiazepine and barbiturate withdrawal.

Muscle relaxant

skeletal muscle relaxantmuscle relaxantsmuscle relaxation
Barbiturates in high doses are used for physician-assisted suicide, and in combination with a muscle relaxant for euthanasia and for capital punishment by lethal injection.
Other skeletal muscle relaxants of that type used around the world come from a number of drug categories and other drugs used primarily for this indication include orphenadrine (anticholinergic), chlorzoxazone, tizanidine (clonidine relative), diazepam, tetrazepam and other benzodiazepines, mephenoxalone, methocarbamol, dantrolene, baclofen, Drugs once but no longer or very rarely used to relax skeletal muscles include meprobamate, barbiturates, methaqualone, glutethimide and the like; some subcategories of opioids have muscle relaxant properties, and some are marketed in combination drugs with skeletal and/or smooth muscle relaxants such as whole opium products, some ketobemidone, piritramide and fentanyl preparations and Equagesic.

Truth serum

truth drugnarcoanalysisnarco analysis
It is often mistaken for "truth serum", or sodium amytal, an intermediate-acting barbiturate that is used for sedation and to treat insomnia, but was also used in so-called sodium amytal "interviews" where the person being questioned would be much more likely to provide the truth whilst under the influence of this drug.
Sedatives or hypnotics that alter higher cognitive function include ethanol, scopolamine, 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate, potent short or intermediate acting hypnotic benzodiazepines such as midazolam, flunitrazepam, and various short and ultra-short acting barbiturates, including sodium thiopental (commonly known by the brand name Pentothal) and amobarbital (formerly known as sodium amytal).

Lupe Vélez

Lupe VelezMexican SpitfireGuadalupe Villalobos Vélez
People who are known to have suicided by barbiturate overdose include the members of Heaven's Gate cult, Charles Boyer, Dalida, Felix Hausdorff, Abbie Hoffman, Phyllis Hyman, Carole Landis, Helen Palmer, C. P. Ramanujam, Jean Seberg, Donald Sinclair, and Lupe Velez.
In December 1944, Vélez died of an intentional overdose of the barbiturate drug Seconal.

Stevens–Johnson syndrome

Stevens-Johnson syndromeSteven Johnson syndromeStevens Johnson syndrome
A rare adverse reaction to barbiturates is Stevens–Johnson syndrome, which primarily affects the mucous membranes.
SJS may be caused by the medications rivaroxaban, vancomycin, allopurinol, valproate, levofloxacin, diclofenac, etravirine, isotretinoin, fluconazole, valdecoxib, sitagliptin, oseltamivir, penicillins, barbiturates, sulfonamides, phenytoin, azithromycin, oxcarbazepine, zonisamide, modafinil, lamotrigine, nevirapine, pyrimethamine, ibuprofen, ethosuximide, carbamazepine, bupropion, telaprevir, and nystatin.

Depressant

depressantsdownerscentral depressant
A barbiturate is a drug that acts as a central nervous system depressant, and can therefore produce a wide range of effects, from mild sedation to death.
However, they are much less toxic than their predecessors, the barbiturates, and death rarely results when a benzodiazepine is the only drug taken; however, when combined with other central nervous system depressants such as alcohol and opiates, the potential for toxicity and fatal overdose increases.

Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome

benzodiazepine withdrawalwithdrawal syndromebenzodiazepine
As with all GABAergic drugs, barbiturate withdrawal produces potentially fatal effects such as seizures in a manner reminiscent of delirium tremens and benzodiazepine withdrawal although its more direct mechanism of GABA agonism makes barbiturate withdrawal even more severe than that of alcohol or benzodiazepines (subsequently making it one of the most dangerous withdrawals of any known addictive substance).

Nonbenzodiazepine

nonbenzodiazepinesbenzodiazepine-likenon benzodiazepine
They have largely been replaced by benzodiazepines and nonbenzodiazepines ("Z-drugs") in routine medical practice, particularly in the treatment of anxiety and insomnia, due to the significantly lower risk of addiction and overdose and the lack of an antidote for barbiturate overdose.
They are safer than the older barbiturates especially in overdosage and they may, when compared to the benzodiazepines, have less of a tendency to induce physical dependence and addiction, although these issues can still become a problem.

Judy Garland

GarlandDorothyEthel Gumm
Others who have died as a result of barbiturate overdose include Pier Angeli, Brian Epstein, Judy Garland, Jimi Hendrix, Dorothy Kilgallen, Thalia Massie, Edie Sedgwick, Inger Stevens, Ellen Wilkinson, Kenneth Williams, and Alan Wilson; in some cases these have been speculated to be suicides as well.
They were also given barbiturates to take before going to bed so they could sleep.

GABAA receptor

GABA A receptorGABA A GABA A receptors
Barbiturates act as positive allosteric modulators and, at higher doses, as agonists of GABA A receptors.
These allosteric sites are the targets of various other drugs, including the benzodiazepines, nonbenzodiazepines, neuroactive steroids, barbiturates, alcohol (ethanol), inhaled anaesthetics, and picrotoxin, among others.

Ingeborg Bachmann

Bachmann
Ingeborg Bachmann may have died of the consequences of barbiturate withdrawal (she was hospitalized with burns, the doctors treating her not being aware of her barbiturate addiction).
During her stay, she experienced withdrawal symptoms complicated from barbiturate substance abuse.

Migraine

migrainesmigraine headachemigraine headaches
Despite this, barbiturates are still in use for various purposes: in general anesthesia, epilepsy, treatment of acute migraines or cluster headaches, euthanasia, capital punishment, and assisted suicide.
It is recommended that opioids and barbiturates not be used due to questionable efficacy, addictive potential, and the risk of rebound headache.

Barbital

Veronalbarbitonebarbiturate
No substance of medical value was discovered, however, until 1903 when two German scientists working at Bayer, Emil Fischer and Joseph von Mering, discovered that barbital was very effective in putting dogs to sleep.
Barbital (or barbitone), marketed under the brand names Veronal for the pure acid and Medinal for the sodium salt, was the first commercially available barbiturate.

Inger Stevens

Others who have died as a result of barbiturate overdose include Pier Angeli, Brian Epstein, Judy Garland, Jimi Hendrix, Dorothy Kilgallen, Thalia Massie, Edie Sedgwick, Inger Stevens, Ellen Wilkinson, Kenneth Williams, and Alan Wilson; in some cases these have been speculated to be suicides as well.
Los Angeles County Coroner Dr. Thomas Noguchi attributed Stevens's death to "acute barbiturate poisoning" that was eventually ruled a suicide.

Helen Palmer (author)

Helen Palmer GeiselHelen PalmerHelen
People who are known to have suicided by barbiturate overdose include the members of Heaven's Gate cult, Charles Boyer, Dalida, Felix Hausdorff, Abbie Hoffman, Phyllis Hyman, Carole Landis, Helen Palmer, C. P. Ramanujam, Jean Seberg, Donald Sinclair, and Lupe Velez.
Helen died by suicide in 1967 with an overdose of barbiturates after a series of illnesses (including cancer) spanning 13 years.

Amobarbital

sodium amytalAmytalamobarbita
It is often mistaken for "truth serum", or sodium amytal, an intermediate-acting barbiturate that is used for sedation and to treat insomnia, but was also used in so-called sodium amytal "interviews" where the person being questioned would be much more likely to provide the truth whilst under the influence of this drug.
Amobarbital (formerly known as amylobarbitone or sodium amytal) is a drug that is a barbiturate derivative.