Prescription Drugs   Non-Prescription Drugs

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 Although barbiturates have been used to treat nervousness and sleep problems, they have generally been replaced by other medicines for these purposes.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).