Seconal is the brand name for the prescription sleep aid secobarbital. It is also recognized as Seconal Sodium. This is a type of medication known as a barbiturate. It functions by slowing down the central nervous system – the nerves of the body and brain – in order to provide sedation before surgery, or as a short-term treatment for the symptoms of insomnia.
Seconal is a powerful drug that is designed to help you to fall asleep, and as such, it also comes with the risk of certain other reactions. There have been cases where people have driven, eaten, or placed telephone calls but have no memory of these events later on. Should this type of circumstance occur to you, it is important to stop taking this medication and contact your doctor so that he or she can suggest a more appropriate treatment for your sleeplessness.
If you have porphyria or if you have an allergy to Seconal (secobarbital) then you should not take this drug as it could be life threatening. Other conditions that may require adjustments in dosage or certain tests before this medication can be safely taken include:
- Liver disease
- Seizure disorders such as epilepsy
- Heart disease
- Breathing disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder or severe asthma
- Overactive thyroid
- A current diagnosis or history of mental illness, depression, or attempt of suicide
- A current diagnosis or history of alcohol or drug abuse or addiction
Seconal use can be habit forming and it is therefore very important that it be used only by the person who has received the medication. This can be a dangerous drug for an individual who has a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
Take care to read the prescription label and thoroughly understand the way in which this drug should be taken. If you don’t remember how your doctor told you to take this medication or you don’t understand the directions on the bottle, call your doctor or your pharmacist to have him or her explain it to you. It is important to take Seconal properly in order to ensure that it will be both safe and effective.
Seconal should only be taken if you’re certain that you will have a minimum of 7 to 8 hours to dedicate to sleep before you will need to become active and alert again. Swallow this drug whole at bedtime with a full glass of water.