Common Barbiturates Side Effects: What You Need to Know

Barbiturate is a sedative-hypnotic drug. This article will cover barbiturates side effects, its impact on wellness, and treatment for addiction.

What are Barbiturates?

Barbiturates are a central nervous system depressant that reduces brain activity and induces sleep. They were first synthesized in the 1860s and quickly became a popular sedative and anesthetic medication. People then weren’t aware of barbiturates side effects.

Today, barbiturates are still used for medical purposes, such as inducing anesthesia or treating severe seizures, but they are considered outdated drugs due to the development of newer and safer alternatives.1

Types of Barbiturates

Barbiturates are classified based on their duration of action, ranging from several hours to several days.2

Here are some of the common types of barbiturates:

Barbiturates also differ in strength, with some more potent than others. The strength of a barbiturate is measured in milligrams, and the dose needed for the desired effect depends on the individual and the condition being treated.

Barbiturates and Addiction

Barbiturates are highly addictive because they increase dopamine levels in the brain, causing a euphoric feeling. There are some barbiturates side effects to be aware of. 

The drug can cause physical and psychological dependence, even with short-term use. Tolerance to barbiturates can develop quickly, meaning higher doses are needed for the desired effects. This can increase the risk of overdose and other negative health effects.

Withdrawal from barbiturates can be dangerous and cause seizures, delirium, and other severe symptoms.

Risk Factors for Barbiturate Addiction

Several factors can increase a person’s risk of developing an addiction to barbiturates.2

These include:3

Barbiturates Side Effects

Here is a detailed overview of the short-term and long-term barbiturates side effects, as well as common and severe side effects.4

Short-Term Barbiturates Side Effects

Short-term side effects of barbiturates are similar to those of other central nervous system depressants. These can include:5

Long-Term Risks

Long-term use of barbiturates can lead to a range of health problems. These include:

Common Barbiturates Side Effects Overview

In addition to the short-term side effects listed above, barbiturates can cause a range of common side effects, including:

Severe Barbiturates Side Effects

In high doses or with long-term use, barbiturates can cause severe side effects, including:

It is important to be aware of the risks associated with these drugs and to seek help if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction.

Signs You Are Addicted

Recognizing the signs of barbiturates side effects and addiction can help individuals seek help and prevent further harm to themselves and others.

Impact of Barbiturates on Overall Wellness

Barbiturates side effects and addiction can significantly impact an individual’s overall wellness, including their social, financial, emotional, and physical well-being. Let’s highlight each aspect.


Barbiturate abusers may experience strained relationships with loved ones. They may also experience legal problems if they engage in criminal behavior to obtain the drug or are caught using it illegally.


Barbiturate addiction can also lead to little or no productivity at work, resulting in job loss. They may also spend most of their money buying drugs and seeking medical treatments.


Addiction significantly impacts the emotional aspects of a person’s life. Individuals may experience anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. These emotional issues can further exacerbate their addiction and make quitting harder.


Barbiturate addiction can lead to physical harm discussed above, such as headaches, respiratory problems, liver damage, and, in worse cases, seizures and coma. Addiction may also increase the risk of overdose, which can be fatal.

Treatment Options for Barbiturates Addiction

Barbiturates side effects and addiction can be serious and challenging conditions to treat. Some common treatment options for barbiturate addiction include:


This is the first step in treating barbiturate addiction. It involves removing the drug from the body safely and gradually to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Detoxification is usually conducted under the supervision of medical professionals.

Behavioral Therapies

These therapies help individuals identify and change the behaviors that led to their addiction. The therapy also teaches coping mechanisms to deal with triggers that may lead to relapse.

Medication-assisted Treatment

Certain medications can help manage the withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with barbiturate addiction.

Support Groups

Support groups provide emotional support, encouragement, and a sense of community for individuals in recovery.

Inpatient Treatment

For severe cases of barbiturate addiction, inpatient or residential treatment may be necessary. These programs provide a structured environment for recovery and may include a combination of therapies and medications.

Outpatient Treatment

This option is helpful for people with less severe addictions that can be managed while staying at home.

Essence and Barbiturates Addiction

Essence Healthcare offers a range of addiction treatment programs tailored to meet individual needs, especially with barbiturates side effects. 

Our team of experienced and compassionate professionals work together to provide comprehensive care and support for those struggling with barbiturate addiction. We are here to listen and offer the best care that meets your needs or the needs of someone you know. 

We will help you navigate your personal road to recovery. We offer detoxification services, medication-assisted treatment, behavioral therapies, and other evidence-based approaches to help our clients achieve long-term recovery. We also know of support groups to offer encouragement for you.

We’re Here For You

We are committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for people to heal, grow, and achieve their goals for a healthier and happier life. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with barbiturates side effects and addiction, contact us today for compassionate and comprehensive care.

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Questions About Treatment?

We are a patient-first substance abuse and mental health treatment facility located in Los Angeles, California. At Essence Healthcare, we provide different levels of care from detoxification to drug rehab aftercare. Our team is standing by to address your questions. Your call is confidential and no obligation is required.