You may have heard the term "barbiturate," but would you recognize the drugs on a barbiturate list? Barbiturates are a kind of drug that depresses the central nervous system, producing a feeling of relaxation and calm. When taken in small doses, barbiturates reduce anxiety, but paradoxically, they can have the opposite effect when taken in large doses. Studies have shown that large doses actually make the drug act as a stimulant instead of a depressant. There are several kinds of barbiturates, and they are sometimes prescribed for a variety of anxiety-related symptoms. Because of the potential for abuse, it's good to know what drugs are classified as barbiturates, so here is a list of the most common ones.
- Amytal Sodium: This drug was developed in the 1920s, and was used as sleep aid. It was prescribed for insomnia, and also sometimes used for treating amnesia and epilepsy. Like all forms of barbiturate, abuse of Amytal Sodium can cause a harmful overdose.
- Butisol Sodium: This form of barbiturate is used as a sleep pill. It is noted for the short duration of its effects. It is also sometimes combined with other drugs to form an antispasmodic medicine.
- Luminal: Luminal is a trade name for a barbiturate that is used to treat seizures. Some sources claim that it is the most widely used anticonvulsant drug in the world, though it is no longer prescribed frequently in the United States.
- Nembutal Sodium: Also known by the name of Phenobarbital, this drug is used to treat insomnia and anxiety. It is made in tablet, liquid, and suppository forms, but these forms are no longer available in the United States.
- Seconal Sodium: Like several of the other forms, this medicine is also used to treat insomnia. It is also prescribed occasionally to reduce anxiety and worry before surgery. Side effects of this drug include impaired motor function.