Seconal Sodium

DRUG DESCRIPTION

The barbiturates are nonselective central nervous system (CNS) depressants that are primarily used as sedative hypnotics. In subhypnotic doses, they are also used as anticonvulsants. The barbiturates and their sodium salts are subject to control under the Federal Controlled Substances Act.

Seconal Sodium® (Secobarbital Sodium Capsules, USP) is a barbituric acid derivative and occurs as a white, odorless, bitter powder that is very soluble in water, soluble in alcohol, and practically insoluble in ether. Chemically, the drug is sodium 5-allyl-5-(1-methylbutyl) barbiturate, with the molecular formula C12H17N2NaO3. Its molecular weight is 260.27. The structural formula is as follows:

Seconal Sodium® (Secobarbital Sodium) Structural Formula Illustration

Each capsule contains 100 mg (0.38 mmol) of secobarbital sodium. It also contains dimethicone, FD&C Red No. 3, FD&C Yellow No. 10, gelatin, magnesium stearate, pregelatinized starch, and titanium dioxide.

What are the possible side effects of secobarbital (Seconal Sodium)?

Secobarbital may cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking secobarbital and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • 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...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Seconal Sodium »

What are the precautions when taking secobarbital sodium capsules (Seconal Sodium)?

Before taking secobarbital, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other barbiturates (such as phenobarbital); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: certain hormone problems (adrenal disease such as Addison's disease), liver problems, kidney problems, lung disease (such as sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD), mental/mood disorders (such as depression, thoughts of suicide), history of alcohol/substance abuse, personal/family history of a certain blood disorder (porphyria).

This drug may make...

Read All Potential Precautions of Seconal Sodium »


Seconal Sodium Consumer (continued)

SIDE EFFECTS: Unwanted sleepiness, trouble waking up, dizziness, excitation, headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (such as agitation, confusion, depression, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, nightmares), slurred speech, staggering walk/clumsiness, double vision, memory problems.

Rarely, after taking this drug, people have gotten out of bed and driven vehicles while not fully awake ("sleep-driving"). People have also sleepwalked, or have prepared/eaten food, made phone calls, or had sex while not fully awake. Often these people do not remember these events. If you discover that you have done any of these things, tell your doctor immediately. Drinking alcohol, taking other medications that cause drowsiness, or taking higher doses of secobarbital may increase your risk for this effect. Do not drink alcohol while using this medication.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, fainting, slow heartbeat.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

PRECAUTIONS: Before taking secobarbital, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other barbiturates (such as phenobarbital); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: certain hormone problems (adrenal disease such as Addison's disease), liver problems, kidney problems, lung disease (such as sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD), mental/mood disorders (such as depression, thoughts of suicide), history of alcohol/substance abuse, personal/family history of a certain blood disorder (porphyria).

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug, especially drowsiness and dizziness. However, this drug can often cause excitement or confusion instead of drowsiness in older adults.

This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Consult your doctor for more details. Since birth control pills may not be effective if taken with this medication (see also Drug Interactions section), discuss reliable forms of birth control with your doctor. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, notify your doctor immediately.

This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.


Seconal Sodium Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Seconal Sodium

Generic Name: secobarbital (Pronunciation: SEE koe BAR bi tal)

  • What is secobarbital (Seconal Sodium)?
  • What are the possible side effects of secobarbital (Seconal Sodium)?
  • What is the most important information I should know about secobarbital (Seconal Sodium)?
  • What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking secobarbital (Seconal Sodium)?
  • How should I take secobarbital (Seconal Sodium)?
  • What happens if I miss a dose (Seconal Sodium)?
  • What happens if I overdose (Seconal Sodium)?
  • What should I avoid while taking secobarbital (Seconal Sodium)?
  • What other drugs will affect secobarbital (Seconal Sodium)?
  • Where can I get more information?

What is secobarbital (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 to 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.

What are the possible side effects of secobarbital (Seconal Sodium)?

Secobarbital may cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking secobarbital and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • 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;
  • headache; or
  • "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.

What is the most important information I should know about secobarbital (Seconal Sodium)?

Secobarbital may cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking secobarbital and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Take secobarbital only when you are getting ready for several hours of sleep. You may fall asleep very quickly after taking the medicine.

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.

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