Barbiturates are medicines that act on the central nervous system and cause
drowsiness and can control seizures.
Barbiturates are in the group of medicines known as Central Nervous System
(CNS) Depressants. Also known as Sedative-hypnotic Drugs, Barbiturates make
people very relaxed, calm, and sleepy. These drugs are sometimes used to
help patients relax before surgery.
Some may also be used to control
seizures (convulsions). Although barbiturates have been used to treat
nervousness and sleep problems, they have generally been replaced by other
medicines for these purposes.
These medicines may become habit-forming and should not be used to relieve
everyday anxiety and tension or to treat sleeplessness over long periods.
Barbiturates are available only with a physician's prescription and are
sold in capsule, tablet, liquid, and injectable forms. Some commonly used
barbiturates are Phenobarbital (Barbita) and Secobarbital (Seconal).