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Butisol Sodium (Generic Butabarbital)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Butabarbital is used to treat insomnia on an interim basis (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep). It is also used to reduce anxiety, particularly the kind that comes before surgery. Butabarbital belongs to the class of medicines known as barbiturates. It works by reducing mental activity.

How should this medicine be used?

For oral use, butabarbital is available as a liquid and tablet. When butabarbital is used to treat insomnia, it is frequently administered at bedtime as needed for sleep. In order to lessen anxiety, butabarbital is commonly taken 60 to 90 minutes prior to surgery. To treat anxiety, butabarbital is frequently administered three to four times per day. If you take butabarbital on a regular basis, take it at around the same time(s) every day. Any directions on your prescription label that you are unclear about following, ask your doctor or pharmacist to clarify. Observe butabarbital instructions to the letter.

Within 7 to 10 days of using butabarbital, your sleep problems ought to start to get better. Call your doctor if your sleep problems do not get better during this time, if they get worse at any point while you are in therapy, or if you notice any changes in your thinking or behaviour.

Butabarbital should typically only be used on a temporary basis. If you use butabarbital for two weeks or longer, it might not help you sleep as soundly or lessen your anxiety as it did when you initially started taking the prescription. Butabarbital dependency may develop after repeated use (sometimes known as “addiction,” or the urge to keep taking the drug). Discuss with your doctor the risks of using butabarbital for two weeks or longer.

Don’t stop taking butabarbital without first talking to your doctor. Your doctor will probably progressively lower your dose. If you abruptly stop taking butabarbital, you may experience anxiety, twitching muscles, uncontrollable shaking of your hands or fingers, weakness, dizziness, changes in vision, nausea, vomiting, trouble falling or staying asleep, or more severe withdrawal symptoms like seizures or extreme confusion.

Other uses for this medicine

If you are interested in using this medication for any additional conditions, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking butabarbital,

  • If you have an allergy to butabarbital, any other barbiturates, including amobarbital (Amytal, in Tuinal), pentobarbital, phenobarbital, or secobarbital (Seconal), tartrazine (a yellow food and drug colour), aspirin, or any other medications, let your doctor and pharmacist know at once.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any vitamins, nutritional supplements, herbal items, and prescription and over-the-counter medicines you are now taking or intend to take. Any of the following should be mentioned: Antihistamines, doxycycline, griseofulvin, Fulvicin-U/F, Grifulvin V, Gris-PEG, hormone replacement therapy, monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors such isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine, selegiline, Eldepryl, Emsam, and tranylcypromine, as well as anticoagulants (sometimes known as “blood thinners”); muscle relaxants, some seizure medications like phenytoin (Dilantin) and valproic acid (Depakene), oral steroids like dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexone), methylprednisolone (Medrol), and prednisone (Deltasone), sedatives, sleeping pills, and tranquillizers are among the list of medications that can be used to treat depression, pain, colds, allergies, and other Your doctor might need to adjust your medication doses or keep a close eye out for any negative side effects.
  • If you have porphyria or have ever had it, let your doctor know (condition in which certain natural substances build up in the body and may cause stomach pain, changes in thinking and behavior, and other symptoms). Most likely, your doctor will advise against taking butabarbital.
  • Inform your physician if you currently use or have previously used excessive amounts of street drugs, alcohol, or prescription medications. Tell your doctor if you have ever contemplated suicide or attempted it, as well as if you suffer from asthma or any other condition that makes breathing difficult or uncomfortable, have ever experienced depression or seizures, or have kidney or liver disease.
  • Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking butabarbital.
  • You should be aware that butabarbital may lessen how well hormonal contraceptives work (birth control pills, patches, rings, injections, implants, or intrauterine devices). Consult your doctor about birth control options that will be effective for you while you are receiving butabarbital therapy. If you miss a period or suspect you could be pregnant while taking butabarbital, let your doctor know right away.
  • If you are 65 years of age or older, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using this medicine with your doctor. Butabarbital is typically not advised for usage in older individuals because it is neither as safe nor as effective as alternative drugs that can be used to treat the same issue.
  • You should inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking butabarbital if you are having surgery, including dental surgery.
  • You should be aware that this medicine may cause you to feel sleepy. Prior to understanding how this drug affects you, avoid using machinery or driving a car.
  • Don’t consume alcohol when receiving butabarbital therapy. Butabarbital adverse effects can be exacerbated by alcohol.
  • You should be aware that some persons who took sleep aids got out of bed and did things like drive their cars, prepare and eat food, have sex, make phone calls, or perform other tasks while only partially awake. These people frequently had no memory of what they had done when they awoke. If you discover that you were operating a vehicle or performing any other activity while you were sleeping, call your doctor right once.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If butabarbital is a regular medication for you, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Side effects from butabarbital are possible. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Drowsiness
  • Having trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Nightmares
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Nervousness
  • Agitation
  • Excitement
  • Confusion
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation

Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Hallucinating (seeing things or hearing sounds and voices that do not exist)
  • Shallow, sluggish breathing
  • Sluggish heartbeat
  • Fainting
  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the lower legs, hands, feet, ankles, or face, neck, tongue, lips, eyes, or mouth
  • Breathing or swallowing challenges
  • Hoarseness

Other negative effects of butabarbital are possible. If you have any strange side effects while taking this medicine, let your doctor know right away.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Store it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at for additional information.

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

Overdose symptoms could include:

  • Unsteadiness
  • Uncontrollable eye movements and slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Faulty judgement
  • Irritability
  • Having trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Breathing that is shallow, rapid, or both
  • Recessed pupils (black circles in the middle of the eye)
  • Less urinations
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Decreased body temperature
  • Coma (loss of consciousness for a periol of time)

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To determine how you are responding to butabarbital, your doctor may request specific lab tests.

No one else should take your medication. The drug butabarbital is under control. Only a limited amount of refills are permitted for prescriptions; if you have any doubts, speak with your pharmacist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Butabarb®
  • Butalan®
  • Buticaps®
  • Butisol® Sodium
  • Sarisol®
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