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Amobarbital, butabarbital, pentobarbital and secobarbital are used as sedatives and hypnotics and not as anticonvulsants. These and several other barbiturates were introduced into medical use in the United States in the 1950s as sedatives, hypnotics (short term treatment of insomnia) and preanesthetic agents. They are now rarely used, having been largely replaced by more effective and better tolerated sedatives and hypnotics such as the benzodiazepines and benzodiazepine receptor agonists.

FDA approval information for Amobarbital

Amobarbital (am" oh bar' bi tal) and butabarbital (bue' ta bar' bi tal) are currently available, but only as solutions for parenteral administration, being used largely as preanesthetic agents. Secobarbital is available as a 100 mg capsule generically and under the brand name Seconal. Pentobarbital is no longer available in the United States.

Clinical use of Amobarbital

Current indications for the barbiturates include short term treatment of insomnia and as a preanesthetic agent.

Dosage and administration for Amobarbital

The recommended dose of secobarbital in adults is 100 mg at bedtime or 200 to 300 mg 1 to 2 hours before surgery.

Barbiturates that are no longer available in the United States include butalbital, mephobarbital, methohexital and pentobarbital. Secobarbital is classified as a Schedule II substance, indicating that it has definite potential for physical and psychological dependence and abuse.

Side effects of Amobarbital

Frequent side effects include drowsiness, sedation, hypotension, nausea, headache and skin rash.

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