Butabarbital is used for a short time (no more than 2 weeks) to help you sleep. It may also be used to help calm you during periods of anxiety or before surgery. Butabarbital belongs to a class of drugs known as barbiturate hypnotics. It works by affecting certain parts of the brain to cause drowsiness and calm you.
How To Use
For sleep, take this medication by mouth, immediately before you go to bed or as directed by your doctor. Only take this medication if you have time for a full night's sleep. For anxiety, take this medication usually 3 to 4 times daily or as directed by your doctor. For use before surgery, take as directed by your doctor.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. If you are taking the liquid form, carefully measure your dose using a medication-measuring device or spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
If you are taking this medication for sleep, take it only when you need help falling asleep. Taking it regularly will make the drug work less well over time. Do not take more of this medication than prescribed. Doing so may increase side effects.
This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as anxiety, vivid dreams, shaking hands/fingers, twitching, trouble sleeping) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. Withdrawal from butabarbital can be severe and include hallucinations, seizures and (rarely) death. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.
Along with its benefits, this medication may rarely cause abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction). This risk may be increased if you have abused alcohol or drugs in the past. Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lessen the risk of addiction.
When this medication is used for a long time for anxiety or to help you sleep, it may not work as well. Butabarbital should only be used for a short time for anxiety or sleep. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens (such as continued anxiety or difficulty falling asleep) after 7 to 10 days.