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Butisol Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Butisol (butabarbital sodium) is used short-term to treat insomnia, or as a sedative before surgery. It is a barbiturate. Common side effects include unwanted sleepiness, trouble waking up, dizziness, excitation, headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting.
Usual adult dosage of Butisol as a daytime sedative is 15 to 30 mg, 3 or 4 times daily; as a bedtime hypnotic, 50 to 100 mg; as a preoperative sedative, 50 to 100 mg taken 60 to 90 minutes before surgery. The usual pediatric dosage as a preoperative sedative is 2 to 6 mg/kg, maximum 100 mg. Butisol may interact with blood thinners, seizure medications, metronidazole, theophylline, rifampin, beta-blockers, MAO inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, or steroids. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Butisol is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm a fetus. Birth control pills may not be effective if taken with this medication. Discuss birth control with your doctor. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, notify your doctor. This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding. Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you suddenly stop taking this medication.
Our Butisol (butabarbital sodium) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Butisol in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Butabarbital may cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking butabarbital and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- feeling like you might pass out;
- a fever or a sore throat;
- sores in your mouth;
- easy bruising or bleeding; or
- trouble breathing or swallowing.
Less serious side effects may be more likely to occur, such as:
- drowsiness or dizziness;
- problems with memory or concentration;
- excitement (especially in children or older adults);
- joint or muscle pain;
- nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, constipation; or
- nightmares or increased dreaming.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Butisol (Butabarbital Sodium Tablets) »
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Butisol Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (such as agitation, confusion, depression, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, nightmares), slurred speech, staggering walk/clumsiness, double vision, memory problems.
Rarely, after taking this drug, people have gotten out of bed and driven vehicles while not fully awake ("sleep-driving"). People have also sleepwalked, or have prepared/eaten food, made phone calls, or had sex while not fully awake. Often these people do not remember these events. If you discover that you have done any of these things, tell your doctor immediately. Drinking alcohol, taking other medications that cause drowsiness, or taking higher doses of butabarbital may increase your risk for this effect. Do not drink alcohol while using this medication.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, fainting, slow heartbeat.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Butisol (Butabarbital Sodium Tablets)»
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Butisol FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
The following adverse reactions have been observed with the use of barbiturates in hospitalized patients. Because such patients may be less aware of certain of the milder adverse effects of barbiturates, the incidence of these reactions may be somewhat higher in fully ambulatory patients.
More than 1 in 100 patients. The most common adverse reaction, somnolence, is estimated to occur at a rate of 1 to 3 patients per 100.
Less than 1 in 100 patients. The most common adverse reactions estimated to occur at a rate of less than 1 in 100 patients listed below, grouped by organ system, and by decreasing order of occurrence are:
Central nervous system/psychiatric: Agitation, confusion, hyperkinesia, ataxia, CNS depression, nightmares, nervousness, psychiatric disturbance, hallucinations, insomnia, anxiety, dizziness, thinking abnormality.
Gastrointestinal: Nausea, vomiting, constipation.
Drug Abuse And Dependence
Abuse and dependence
Abuse and addiction are separate and distinct from physical dependence and tolerance. Abuse is characterized by misuse of the drug for non-medical purposes, often in combination with other psychoactive substances. Physical dependence is a state of adaptation that is manifested by a specific withdrawal syndrome that can be produced by abrupt cessation, rapid dose reduction, decreasin g blood level of the drug and/or administration of an antagonist. Tolerance is a state of adaptation in which exposure to a drug induces changes that result in a diminution of one or more of the drug's effects over time. Tolerance may occur to both the desired and undesired effects of drugs and may develop at different rates for different effects.
Addiction is a primary, chronic, neurobiological disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. It is characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving. Drug addiction is a treatable disease, utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, but relapse is common.
Barbiturates may be habit-forming. Tolerance, psychological dependence, and physical dependence may occur especially following prolonged use of high doses of barbiturates. Daily administration in excess of 400 milligrams (mg) of pentobarbital or secobarbital for approximately 90 days is likely to produce some degree of physical dependence. A dosage of from 600 to 800 mg taken for at least 35 days is sufficient to produce withdrawal seizures. The average daily dose for the barbiturate addict is usually about 1.5 grams. As tolerance to barbiturates develops, the amount needed to maintain the same level of intoxication increases; tolerance to a fatal dosage, however, does not increase more than two-fold. As this occurs, the margin between an intoxicating dosage and a fatal dosage becomes smaller.
Symptoms of acute intoxication with barbiturates include unsteady gait, slurred speech, and sustained nystagmus. Mental signs of chronic intoxication include confusion, poor judgment, irritability, insomnia, and somatic complaints. Symptoms of barbiturate dependence are similar to those of chronic alcoholism.
If an individual appears to be intoxicated with alcohol to a degree that is radically disproportionate to the amount of alcohol in his or her blood, the use of barbiturates should be suspected. The lethal dose of a barbiturate is far less if alcohol is also ingested.
The symptoms of barbiturate withdrawal can be severe and may cause death. Minor withdrawal symptoms may appear 8 to 12 hours after the last dose of a barbiturate. These symptoms usually appear in the following order: anxiety, muscle twitching, tremor of hands and fingers, progressive weakness, dizziness, distortion in visual perception, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, and orthostatic hypotension. Major withdrawal symptoms (convulsions and delirium) may occur within 16 hours and last up to 5 days after abrupt cessation of these drugs. Intensity of withdrawal symptoms gradually declines over a period of approximately 15 days.
Drug dependence to barbiturates arises from repeated administration of a barbiturate or agent with barbiturate-like effect on a continuous basis, generally in amounts exceeding therapeutic dose levels. The characteristics of drug dependence to barbiturates include: (a) a strong desire or need to continue taking the drug; (b) a tendency to increase the dose; (c) a psychic dependence on the effects of the drug related to subjective and individual appreciation for those effects; and (d) a physical dependence on the effects of the drug requiring its presence for maintenance of homeostasis and resulting in a definite, characteristic, and self-limited abstinence syndrome when the drug is withdrawn.
Treatment of barbiturate dependence consists of cautious and gradual withdrawal of the drug. Barbiturate-dependent patients can be withdrawn by using a number of different withdrawal regimens. In all cases, withdrawal takes an extended period of time. One method involves initiating treatment at the patient's regular dosage level, in 3 to 4 divided doses, and decreasing the daily dose by 10 percent if tolerated by the patient.
Infants physically dependent on barbiturates may be given phenobarbital 3 to 10 mg/kg/day. After withdrawal symptoms (hyperactivity, disturbed sleep, tremors, hyperreflexia) are relieved, the dosage of phenobarbital should be gradually decreased and completely withdrawn over a 2- week period.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Butisol (Butabarbital Sodium Tablets) »
Additional Butisol Information
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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