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The drug amobarbital is considered as a barbiturate and first discovered in Germany in 1923. Doctors commonly give the drug to patients as a prescription medication. Amobarbital affects the central nervous system and slows down brain activity. The drug is used to regulate seizures, relax sore muscles, relieve pain and reduce stress.

Doctors use the drug as anesthetic in very high doses. This method is very common in preparation for surgical procedures. When injected in the veins, the patient loses all sensation in their body within seconds. However, the drug does not cure seizures; it can only control them from happening regularly.  Epileptic patients who suffer from severe seizures regularly take the drug.

Quick facts about Amobarbital:

  • A daily dose of 500 milligram of amobarbital can cause dependence.
  • Official use the drug to treat soldiers of “shell shock” during World War II but it decreases the soldier’s ability in battle.
  • Taking the drug while pregnant increases the chance of birth defects.
  • 1 out of 10 people who suffers drug overdose from barbiturates will end up dying.
  • Around 9% of high school students misuse barbiturates during their lifetime.
  • The FDA labeled the drug as a Schedule II under Controlled Substances Act. This means that amobarbital contains a high potential for abuse and dependence.

Why was the Amobarbital made?

Doctors use the drug to induce sleep for patients that needs an operation. Also, medical professional give amobarbital before anesthesia during surgery. It reduces the level of rapid eye movement and usually ends its effectiveness within two weeks. The drug can also cause respiratory depression and should not use on people with sleep apnea or breathing problems. In some point over the years, the drug was used as a ‘truth serum’ during psychiatric dialogues.

What causes Amobarbital addiction?

Seizures can happen anytime and without warning, it is commonly taken as an oral medicine to prevent the disorder. However, the users may take the drug excessively which can lead to addiction.

When taking amobarbital it is important to take it in moderation because it can generates addiction. Users can easily develop dependency because it can relieve a large amount of pain. Once dependence and tolerance develops, users have a higher risk of drug overdose. Also, users may need to undergo a treatment program to safely withdraw from this drug.

Doctors do not prescribe this drug for lone-term use because of its potential for misuse. The United States law does not permit an individual sale of this drug. The law can punish those people who transfer their prescription to others who seek the drug.

What are the signs and symptoms of Amobarbital addiction?

Addiction for amobarbital can quickly develop. Users may not recognize the problem immediately but their behaviors can show clear signs of addiction. Fortunately, doctors and experts are aware of the addictive properties of the drug. A guideline in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders helps them in identifying behaviors that can indicate addiction.

The drug alters the brain’s natural structure which can result to the intense cravings of the drug. Some of the known signs of Amobarbital addiction include:

  • Taking the drug without prescription
  • Continuing to consume the drug after the prescription ended
  • Taking the drug at a faster rate
  • Signs of ‘doctor shopping’ or getting more prescriptions from various doctors

What are the side effects of Amobarbital?

Users sometimes abuse the drug because of its sedative effects. If a person take the drug without a valid medical prescription it its considered as an abuse.

Short-Term effects of Amobarbital

  • Sleepiness
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach aches

Long-Term effects of Amobarbital

  • Confusion
  • Mental problems
  • Chest pain
  • Nosebleeds
  • Hallucinations
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Fear

Drug overdose symptoms

When one or more of these symptoms become apparent, contact a medical professional immediately. Symptoms of amobarbital overdose can vary. The most usual symptoms include:


  • Irregular breathing
  • Urine retention
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Slowed breathing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Coma
  • Shock
  • Hypothermia
  • Fatigue
  • Decline in response of the central nervous system
  • Hypotension

What are the treatments available for Amobarbital addiction?

Experts believed that social and mental rehabilitation serves as the most effective way to treat amobarbital addiction. The combination of the drug rehabilitation treatment proved to lessen relapses in users.

Nonetheless, detoxification plays an important initial part to recover from addiction. It eradicates traces of the drug in the body. However, undergoing amobarbital detox needs medical supervision. Experts consider the withdrawal symptoms for this drug as the most difficult. Immediately stopping the intake of the drug can lead to death.


Doctors usually provide gradual reduction of the drug. Also, withdrawal symptoms can occur during detox. It can happen when users stop taking amobarbital at doses that the body is accustomed to. This is a way which the body signals to ‘complain’ about the presence of amobarbital in its system.

The usual withdrawal symptoms of amobarbital include:

  • hallucinations
  • increased heart rate
  • anxiety
  • confusion
  • muscle pain
  • elevated respiratory rate
  • nightmares or vivid dreams
  • seizures
  • tremors
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • nausea

After the detox, doctors recommend to have the users undergo further treatment either as inpatient rehab, or outpatient rehab. This can address the underlying issues of addiction and to ensure users will live a sober life.

Inpatient treatment facilities

A structured environment where users need to stay inside the center. Experts can monitor the user’s well being as well as to ensure that any relapses will not happen. An inpatient treatment includes:

  • Relapse learning as to prevent it from happening
  • Physical activities
  • Individual and group meetings
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Psychological education
  • Stress management programs


Outpatient treatment rehab program

Allow the users to live outside and go about their daily routine while undergoing treatment. This will let the users go to work, attend school and run errands. However, users are still required to attend and do structured program for them. This will also ensure that the users will acquire the learning to cope with life without the drug.

How long is the duration of the withdrawal?


Amobarbital Withdrawal Timeline
Within 24 hours from the last intake Within 24 hours from the last intake, users may experience intense stomach pains, vomiting, anxiety, headaches, sweating, muscle pains and tremors. In some cases, they may also suffer paranoia.
From 24 to 72 hours During this time frame, users may also experience seizures, delirium, confusion and even high fever.
3 to 8 days Other symptoms will begin to surface such as hallucinations, nightmares, insomnia, rapid heart rate and difficulty breathing.

Recovering from addiction needs time and effort. Amobarbital can generate rapid addiction and needs extensive time to learn how the users regain their lives back. Doctors usually recommend that the users will do under detox and rehab for a minimum of 30 days. Depending on the severity of the drug abuse, users may need to for at least 90 days.

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