Amobarbital Addiction

Amobarbital Chemical structure

Defining Amytal

Amytal (Amobarbital) is a drug often used in the treatment of anxiety disorders, insomnia, and epilepsy. It is a CNS (Central Nervous System) depressant, other similar drugs are: Butalbital, Pentobarbital, Secobarbital. These drugs influence the neural pathways in the brain and are used to provide sedation. It has sedative and hypnotic properties, allowing the body to calm down during periods of agitation and restlessness by relaxing the muscles. It has also been used before an anesthetic before surgery.

Barbiturates like Amytal have properties used in “truth serum”, medication injected into the system to coax information out of people who were not willing to give it as barbiturates decrease inhibition. It is not used often and its accuracy is falsifiable, as people can still provide false information even under pressure.

Side Effects


  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach upset
  • Headache
  • Weakness


  • Chest pain
  • Nosebleeds
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Rapid heart rate

Do's and Don'ts

It should be taken half an hour before bedtime.

It should be taken with food in case it causes gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea.

It should not be taken with alcohol as the sedative effects of both Amytal and alcohol can cause life-threatening health risks.

It should not be stopped suddenly unless under medical supervision.

It is essential to seek urgent medical attention if any allergic reactions to Amytal appear. Signs of allergic reaction towards Amytal may include:

  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Body Swelling
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty in breathing

Addiction and Overdose

As barbiturates are habit-forming, Amytal displays a high abuse and overdose risk. People who are addicted to Amytal may have more of the drug because the prescribed dosage does not produce the desired effects or to escape the side effects that the drug may cause. It is reported that alcoholics are more likely to abuse Amytal due to the similarities of the effects of this drug.

If overdose occurs, seek medical help immediately as the effects could be fatal, especially if too much Amytal is ingested at once. Overdose cases of Amytal often results in death. Some of the signs of Amytal overdose may include:

  • Sleepiness
  • Coma
  • Poor concentration
  • Drifting in and out of consciousness
  • Decreased motor skills
  • Poor decision making skills
  • Slow movements
  • Problem with speech


Similar to many other drugs, treatment for Amytal addiction has to be holistic in order to be successful. The first step to treatment in case of overdose is stomach pumping and the use of activated charcoal which adsorbs the drug. Social and mental rehabilitation is essential in the management of Amytal since it increases the success rate of treatment and has also been shown to reduce relapse.

All the treatment methods above have to be conducted in a controlled environment to increase their efficacy. This means considering the use of facilities such as rehab centers which are well equipped to provide the kind of care needed in such cases.


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