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Equanil (Generic Meprobamate)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Equanil, also known by its generic name meprobamate, is a medication primarily prescribed for the treatment of anxiety disorders and for the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety. It belongs to a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics, which work by affecting certain neurotransmitters in the brain to produce a calming effect.

Equanil is typically used when other non-pharmacological treatments for anxiety, such as therapy or relaxation techniques, have not been effective, or in situations where immediate relief of symptoms is necessary.

How should this medicine be used?

As for how Equanil should be used, it’s essential to follow the prescribing doctor’s instructions carefully. Typically, Equanil is taken orally in tablet form. The dosage and frequency of administration will vary depending on the individual’s condition, age, and other factors.

Here are some general guidelines for using Equanil:

  • Dosage: The dosage of Equanil prescribed will vary depending on the severity of the anxiety and the individual’s response to the medication. It’s usually started at a low dose and gradually increased if necessary. Never adjust the dosage without consulting your doctor.
  • Timing: Equanil is usually taken multiple times a day, with doses spaced evenly apart to maintain a steady level of the medication in the body.
  • Duration: Equanil is typically prescribed for short-term use, usually no longer than a few weeks. Long-term use can lead to dependence and other serious side effects.
  • Precautions: It’s important not to suddenly stop taking Equanil without consulting a doctor, as this can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, Equanil can cause drowsiness and impair cognitive and motor functions, so it’s essential to avoid activities that require alertness, such as driving or operating machinery, until you know how the medication affects you.
  • Avoid alcohol: Alcohol can increase the sedative effects of Equanil and should be avoided while taking this medication.
  • Medical supervision: Regular follow-up appointments with a healthcare provider are essential while taking Equanil to monitor its effectiveness and to watch for any potential side effects or signs of dependence.

It’s crucial to use Equanil exactly as prescribed and to communicate openly with your healthcare provider about your response to the medication and any concerns or questions you may have.

Other uses for this medicine

While Equanil is primarily indicated for anxiety and tension, it may have off-label uses including:

  • Management of muscle spasms or certain types of pain.
  • Adjunctive treatment in certain seizure disorders.
  • Off-label use should only be considered under the guidance and supervision of a qualified healthcare professional.

What special precautions should I follow?

Special precautions should be followed when taking Equanil, including:

  • Medical History: Before taking Equanil, inform your healthcare provider about any medical conditions you have, especially if you have a history of substance abuse, liver or kidney disease, porphyria, or a history of depression or suicidal thoughts.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Equanil should be used with caution during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, as it may cause harm to the developing fetus. It may also pass into breast milk and harm a nursing infant, so it’s important to discuss the risks and benefits with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Interactions: Equanil may interact with other medications, including other central nervous system depressants such as alcohol, opioids, and benzodiazepines, increasing the risk of sedation and respiratory depression. Make sure your healthcare provider is aware of all medications you are taking, including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal supplements.
  • Dependency and Withdrawal: Equanil has the potential for abuse and dependence, especially with long-term use or at high doses. Avoid sudden discontinuation of the medication, as it may lead to withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, and tremors. Your healthcare provider will provide guidance on tapering off the medication if necessary.
  • Driving and Operating Machinery: Equanil may impair cognitive and motor function, so avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how the medication affects you.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and communicate any concerns or side effects you experience while taking Equanil.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Special dietary instructions for Equanil are generally not required. However, alcohol consumption should be avoided or minimized while taking Equanil, as it can increase the sedative effects of the medication and may lead to excessive drowsiness or impairment.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Equanil, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for a missed one. If you have any concerns or questions about missed doses, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Equanil (meprobamate) can cause various side effects, ranging from mild to severe. Not everyone will experience these side effects, and some may be more common or pronounced than others. It’s essential to discuss potential side effects with your healthcare provider before starting Equanil. Here are some possible side effects:

  • Drowsiness: One of the most common side effects of Equanil is drowsiness or sedation. This can impair your ability to concentrate or perform tasks that require alertness, such as driving or operating machinery.
  • Dizziness: Equanil may cause feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when standing up from a sitting or lying position.
  • Confusion: Some individuals may experience confusion or disorientation while taking Equanil.
  • Headache: Headaches are a relatively common side effect of Equanil.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Equanil may cause gastrointestinal upset, including nausea and vomiting, in some individuals.
  • Dry mouth: Equanil can reduce saliva production, leading to a dry mouth sensation.
  • Blurred vision: Some individuals may experience blurred vision or other changes in vision while taking Equanil.
  • Constipation: Equanil may cause constipation in some individuals.
  • Changes in mood: Equanil can affect mood and may lead to changes such as depression or irritability.
  • Allergic reactions: In rare cases, Equanil may cause allergic reactions, including rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any signs of an allergic reaction.
  • Dependency and withdrawal: Long-term use of Equanil can lead to dependence, and sudden discontinuation may cause withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, tremors, and seizures.
  • Other effects: Equanil may also cause other side effects not listed here. If you experience any new or unusual symptoms while taking Equanil, contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation.

It’s essential to report any side effects you experience while taking Equanil to your healthcare provider. They can help determine whether the benefits of the medication outweigh the risks and may adjust your dosage or recommend alternative treatments if necessary. Additionally, do not stop taking Equanil abruptly without consulting your healthcare provider, as this can lead to withdrawal symptoms.

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

Here’s what you should know about the storage, disposal, emergencies, and overdose of Equanil:


  • Store Equanil (meprobamate) at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.
  • Keep it out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion.
  • Avoid storing Equanil in the bathroom or other humid places, as moisture can affect its stability.
  • Do not use Equanil if it has expired or if the tablets appear discolored, cracked, or damaged in any way.


  • If you no longer need Equanil or if it has expired, dispose of it properly.
  • Follow any specific disposal instructions provided by your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
  • Do not flush Equanil down the toilet or pour it down the drain unless instructed to do so.
  • Contact your local pharmacy, healthcare facility, or community drug take-back program to inquire about safe disposal options in your area.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • In case of an overdose of Equanil, seek immediate medical attention or call your local emergency services (such as 911 in the United States) for assistance.
  • Symptoms of Equanil overdose may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, shallow breathing, fainting, or coma.
  • Be prepared to provide information about the dosage of Equanil taken and any other medications or substances ingested.

What other information should I know?

  • Inform all healthcare providers involved in your care that you are taking Equanil, including dentists and emergency medical personnel.
  • Do not share Equanil with others, even if they have similar symptoms, as it may not be suitable for them and could be harmful.
  • Keep track of your supply of Equanil and schedule regular appointments with your healthcare provider to monitor your response to the medication and assess the need for continued treatment.
  • Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully, including dosage adjustments and any recommended lifestyle modifications.
  • Be aware of potential interactions with other medications, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements, and discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about Equanil or its use, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

Remember to always take Equanil as prescribed by your healthcare provider and to follow their instructions regarding storage, disposal, emergencies, and overdose.

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