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MEDICATIONS




PHENOBARBITAL



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Phenobarbital is an antiepileptic drug used to treat seizures. It is helpful for a number of different types of seizures, such as partial and generalized tonic/clonic seizures.

What side effects can be caused by Phenobarbital?



Like other drugs used for epilepsy, phenobarbital may have side effects. Please report any of the following problems to your doctor. The following are some of the common side effects. If you experience these and they are bothersome to you, report them to your doctor. (There is a risk of serious side effects, including death, with all medications that are used to treat seizures. However, this risk is exceedingly small.)
  1. Phenobarbital may cause fatigue and difficulty with concentration. These side effects may become less noticeable as your body adjusts to the drug.
  2. Mood changes, such as depression and changes in behavior may occur. Children may become hyperactive.
  3. An allergic skin rash can occur with Phenobarbital, contact your doctor if this happens.
  4. Women who plan to have children should consult with the doctor about the possible effects on the fetus.

What should I do if I miss a dose?



It is very important that you take your total daily dose of Phenobarbital If you do awaken and realize that you forgot your dose of Phenobarbital the night before, take the forgotten dose that morning, then your usual dose the same evening. If you take Phenobarbital doses more than once each day and you forgot a dose, then take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Then spread out the rest of your doses throughout the day in order to take the correct daily dose. Do not stop this medication without the advice of your physician, doing so may result in an increase in seizures.

It is important that you not run out of medication. Always have at least one week's supply of medication on hand. You or your pharmacist may call your doctor's office in order to obtain refills.

Can I take Phenobarbital with food or other medications?



Yes, Phenobarbital may be taken with meals and at the same time as other prescribed medication. Bring a list of all other medications to your doctor.

Why is my blood checked for Phenobarbital?



The blood sample reveals the amount of Phenobarbital in your body. This information can be used to adjust your daily Phenobarbital dose. It is helpful if you tell your doctor when your last dose of Phenobarbital was taken before the blood sample is drawn.

*Since primidone (Mysoline) breaks down to Phenobarbital in the body, this information may be applied to primidone.

© 2004 The Neurological Institute of New York • Columbia Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. 710 W 168th St, New York, NY 10032. Phone: 212-305-1742
Department of Neurology | Columbia University Medical Center | Last updated: December 12, 2012 | Comments
 

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