Phenobarbital: Uses, Dosage, Price, Side Effects, Precautions & More

What is Phenobarbital?

Phenobarbital is a drug of barbiturate class that is used to produce sleepiness and calming effect.

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What is Phenobarbital used for?

Phenobarbital is used for the treatment of:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Tension
  • Seizures
Also Read: Propranolol Hydrochloride Uses | Propofol Uses | Prochlorperazine Uses

How Does Phenobarbital Work?

Phenobarbital acts by increasing the activity of chemicals within the body which causes sleepiness. It also works by increasing the action of a chemical messenger (GABA) which controls the activity of nerves and brain.

How to Take Phenobarbital?

Phenobarbital tablet must be swallowed as a whole with a glass of water. You must not chew, crush or break the tablet while taking it. If you are prescribed with syrup form them measure the quantity prescribed with measuring cup and drink it. Always shake the bottle before use. You may consume Phenobarbital on an empty or full stomach.

Phenobarbital Price In India

SpecificsPhenobarbital Price
Strip of 20 TabletsRs 26.51
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Common Dosage for Phenobarbital?

Phenobarbital is generally prescribed once or twice daily. Your doctor may alter your dosage and its frequency depending upon the severity of your condition.

When to Avoid Phenobarbital?

Avoid Phenobarbital if:

  • You are allergic to any component of Phenobarbital
  • You have kidney disease
  • You have liver impairment
  • You have porphyria
  • You have lung dysfunction
  • You have breathing problems
  • You have suicidal tendencies

Side-Effects of Phenobarbital

Some of the reported side effects of Phenobarbital are:

  • Clumsinesss or unsteadiness
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Unusual excitement
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Effects of Phenobarbital on Organs?

Long-term use of Phenobarbital is not safe for the patients with kidney and liver disease. Your doctor may adjust your dose as per your requirement.

Are There Any Reported Allergic Reactions?

Some of the common allergic reactions reported with Phenobarbital are hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Drug Interactions to Be Careful About

One needs to be careful about the following drug interactions when consuming Phenobarbital:

  • Doxycycline
  • Blood clotting drugs
  • Corticosteroids
  • Griseofulvin
  • Phenytoin
  • Sodium valproate
  • Antidepressants

Effects/Results After Consuming Phenobarbital

The effect of Phenobarbital can be observed within 1 hour of administration. Your allergic symptoms will start to improve after taking this medication.

Things to Know About Phenobarbital


Is Phenobarbital addictive?

Phenobarbital may cause dependence especially if you are prone to drug abuse. Use this medication only for the prescribed time period.

Can I have Phenobarbital with alcohol?

It is better to avoid alcohol when on Phenobarbital. Consult your doctor about limiting alcohol with this medication. Co-consumption of alcohol with Phenobarbital causes excessive sleepiness and drowsiness.

Any particular food item to be avoided?

You must consult your doctor regarding the foods to be avoided.

Can I have Phenobarbital when pregnant?

In most cases, it is not safe to take Phenobarbital if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Consult your doctor if it is absolutely necessary to take this medication.

Can I have Phenobarbital when feeding a baby?

Phenobarbital is known to pass in mother’s milk to the baby. Consult your doctor if it is absolutely necessary to take this medication while you are breastfeeding.

Can I drive after taking Phenobarbital?

It is generally safe to drive while taking Phenobarbital. However, if you experience drowsiness, dizziness, a headache or any side effect that alters your consciousness then it may not be safe to drive.

What happens if I overdose on Phenobarbital?

An overdose of Phenobarbital will not improve your symptoms. It may even cause serious side-effects like stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Consult your doctor immediately in case of overdose.

What happens if I eat expired Phenobarbital?

If by mistake you consume a dose of expired Phenobarbital, the chances of harm are very less. It is advised to check the label for expiry date always before use.

What happens if I miss a dose of Phenobarbital?

As soon as you remember, take the missed dose. However, if it is already time for next dose, carry on with your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed dose.

Storage Requirements for Phenobarbital

  • Always store Phenobarbital at a temperature around 25 degree Celsius
  • Storing in moisture-prone places like bathroom may damage the tablet
  • Place the cap tightly after use of suspension form of this drug
  • Keep Phenobarbital away from direct heat and sunlight
  • Store it where your children and pets can’t reach

Pro Tips When Taking Phenobarbital

  • Do not try to self-adjust the dose. Take it in the quantity prescribed by your doctor.
  • Do not share your medication with anyone even if they have a similar condition.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of Phenobarbital if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy or if you are breastfeeding.
  • You should not use this medicine for more than 7 days in a row as it is a habit-forming drug.
  • Older people are more prone to the side effects of Phenobarbital.

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