Seconal Sodium® is a barbiturate derivative. Barbiturates are non-selective central nervous system (CNS) depressants that are primarily used as sedative hypnotics.
As a barbiturate, Seconal Sodium works by depressing the central nervous system (sensory cortex), causing mild sedation, drowsiness or sleep.
Seconal Sodium is classified as a short-acting barbiturate when taken orally. Its onset of action is 10-15 minutes and duration of effect ranges from three to four hours.
Seconal Sodium is indicated for adults:
1. as a hypnotic for the short-term treatment of insomnia (up to 2 weeks)
2. as a preanesthetic (sedative) before surgery
Important Safety Information
- Seconal Sodium is contraindicated in patients who: are hypersensitive to barbiturates; have a history of manifest or latent porphyria; have marked liver impairment; have respiratory disease in which dyspnea or obstruction is evident.
- Continued insomnia after 7-10 days of treatment may indicate a primary psychiatric or medical illness that should be evaluated.
- Barbiturates may be habit forming. Tolerance, psychological and physical dependence may occur with continued use.
- Serious side effects may include complex behaviors such as getting out of bed while not fully awake and doing an activity that the patient may not know that they are doing, abnormal thoughts and behaviors, memory loss, and anxiety.
- Common side effects include somnolence or drowsiness (estimated to occur in 1-3 patients per 100), headache, fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth, and upset stomach (estimated to occur in <1 in 100 patients).
- Seconal Sodium should not be taken with alcohol or other sedative-hypnotics.
- Do not administer to patients if they are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
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