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Last reviewed on RxList: 10/31/2018
Donnatal Side Effects Center

Last reviewed on RxList 10/31/2018

Donnatal (belladonna alkaloids, phenobarbital) is a combination of an anticholinergic/antispasmodic drug and a barbiturate sedative used to treat abdominal pain, bloating and cramps in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Donnatal is also used to treat acute inflammation of the stomach and intestines (gastroenteritis) to reduce pain and diarrhea, and in patients with duodenal ulcer. Donnatal is available in generic form. Common side effects of Donnatal include:

  • dizziness,
  • drowsiness,
  • weakness,
  • blurred vision,
  • dry eyes,
  • dry mouth,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • constipation,
  • abdominal bloating,
  • increased sensitivity to light,
  • decreased taste sensation,
  • decreased sweating or urination,
  • headache,
  • sleep problems (insomnia),
  • restlessness,
  • excitability,
  • impotence,
  • loss of interest in sex, or
  • trouble having an orgasm.

Tell your doctor if you have unlikely but serious side effects of Donnatal including:

  • dry/hot/flushed skin,
  • fast or irregular heartbeat,
  • loss of coordination,
  • slurred speech,
  • fainting,
  • mental/mood changes (such as confusion, agitation, unusual excitement, depression, rare thoughts of suicide),
  • difficulty urinating, or
  • slow or shallow breathing.

The dosage of Donnatal is adjusted to individual patients for symptomatic control with minimum adverse reactions. The usual dose is one tablet every 8 or 12 hours as prescribed. Products that may interact with Donnatal include blood thinners, ketoconazole, MAO inhibitors, bronchodilators, bladder or urinary medications or irritable bowel medications. Hormonal birth control products (pills, patch, ring) may not be effective if taken with Donnatal. Discuss all medications you are taking with your doctor. Donnatal is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm a fetus. Consult your doctor. This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding. Donnatal may cause withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, muscle twitching, shakiness, dizziness, worsening weakness, nausea, vomiting) if you suddenly stop using it. Withdrawal from phenobarbital can be severe and include seizures or death.

Our Donnatal 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.

Donnatal Consumer Information

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.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • diarrhea;
  • painful or difficult urination;
  • fast or pounding heartbeats;
  • blurred vision with eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
  • feeling like you might pass out; or
  • mouth sores, red or bleeding gums, or tooth decay (with long-term use).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • drowsiness;
  • blurred vision, increased sensitivity to light;
  • dry mouth;
  • decreased taste sensation;
  • decreased sweating or urination;
  • headache, dizziness, weakness;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • nausea, vomiting, constipation, bloating;
  • feeling restless or excited; or
  • impotence, loss of interest in sex, or trouble having an orgasm.

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.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Donnatal (Belladonna Alkaloids, Phenobarbital)

Donnatal Professional Information


Adverse reactions may include xerostomia; urinary hesitancy and retention; blurred vision; tachycardia; palpitation; mydriasis; cycloplegia; increased ocular tension; loss of taste sense; headache; nervousness; drowsiness; weakness; dizziness: insomnia; nausea; vomiting; impotence; suppression of lactation; constipation; bloated feeling; musculoskeletal pain; severe allergic reaction or drug idiosyncrasies, including anaphylaxis, urticaria and other dermal manifestations; and decreased sweating. Elderly patients may react with symptoms of excitement, agitation, drowsiness, and other untoward manifestations to even small doses of the drug.

Phenobarbital may produce excitement in some patients, rather than a sedative effect. In patients habituated to barbiturates, abrupt withdrawal may produce delirium or convulsions.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Donnatal (Belladonna Alkaloids, Phenobarbital)

Related Resources for Donnatal

Read the Donnatal User Reviews »

© Donnatal Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Donnatal Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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