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Amobarbital injection

What does amobarbital injection do?

AMOBARBITAL (Amytal®) is a barbiturate that slows down activity of the brain and nervous system. Amobarbital has both sedative and hypnotic properties which means it will help you to relax and sleep. Amobarbital can help produce relaxation and drowsiness before surgery. Amobarbital also can help reduce or control seizures (convulsions). It is not for the long-term control or prevention of seizures. Federal law prohibits the transfer of amobarbital to any person other than the patient for whom it was prescribed. Do not share your medicine with anyone else. Generic amobarbital injections are available.

What should my health care professional know before I receive amobarbital?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • an alcohol or drug abuse problem

  • breathing difficulties or lung disease

  • attempted suicide

  • heart disease

  • liver disease

  • low blood pressure

  • mental depression or mental problems

  • porphyria

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to amobarbital, other barbiturates, medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Amobarbital is for injection into a muscle or into a vein. It is given by a health-care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

Elderly patients over age 65 years may have a stronger reaction to this medicine and need smaller doses.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What drug(s) may interact with amobarbital?

  • alcohol

  • caffeine

  • chloramphenicol

  • chlorpromazine

  • cyclophosphamide

  • cyclosporine

  • digitoxin

  • doxorubicin

  • doxycycline

  • female hormones, including contraceptive or birth control pills

  • methoxyflurane

  • metronidazole

  • medicines for anxiety or sleeping problems

  • medicines for hay fever and other allergies

  • medicines for high blood pressure

  • medicines for mental depression

  • medicines for pain

  • medicines that help the heart to beat regularly

  • quinine

  • seizure (convulsion) or epilepsy medicine

  • steroid medicines such as prednisone or cortisone

  • theophylline

  • warfarin

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What should I watch for while taking amobarbital?

Your condition will be monitored closely if you are receiving amobarbital for an immediate need. If you do receive amobarbital regularly, visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress.

After receiving amobarbital you may get a residual hangover effect that leaves you drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how amobarbital affects you. To reduce dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can increase possible unpleasant effects. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Amobarbital can stop birth control pills (oral contraceptives) working properly. Use another method of birth control while you are using amobarbital.

If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are receiving amobarbital.

What side effects may I notice from receiving amobarbital?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • bone tenderness

  • confusion, agitation, changes in mood, or mental ability

  • depression

  • eye problems, very small or enlarged centers to the eyes

  • lightheadedness, fainting spells

  • fever, sore throat

  • hallucinations

  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth

  • shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing

  • skin rash, itching, hives

  • slow heartbeat

  • swelling of the face or lips

  • unusual bleeding or bruising; pinpoint red spots on the skin

  • unusual tiredness or weakness

  • weight loss

  • yellowing of skin or eyes

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • clumsiness, unsteadiness, or a "hangover" effect

  • constipation

  • difficulty sleeping or nightmares

  • drowsiness, dizziness

  • headache

  • irritability, nervousness

  • nausea or vomiting

  • pain, redness or irritation at the injection site

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Use the injection solution within 30 minutes of preparation. Do not use the solution unless quite clear. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.