Barbiturates.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Barbiturate use by adolescents has increased gradually in the past several years, but few adolescents use this class of drugs regularly. Instead, these sedatives are used most often to treat unpleasant effects of illicit stimulants, to reduce anxiety, and to get "high". Short-acting barbiturates such as pentobarbital and secobarbital are the preferred drugs of abuse. Barbiturates are dangerous drugs, with a narrow therapeutic index between the dose required for sedation and the dose that will cause coma and death. They are physiologically addicting if taken in high doses over 1 month or more, and the abstinence syndrome can be life-threatening. Pregnant women who take barbiturates during the third trimester can give birth to addicted infants who undergo an extended withdrawal syndrome. It is important to educate adolescent patients about the hazards of sedative/hypnotic use, particularly frequent barbiturate use. As indicated in the findings from the 1995 annual survey of United States high school seniors, many young people are not aware of the significant danger and toxicity of this class of drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPediatrics in review / American Academy of Pediatrics
Volume18
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1997

Fingerprint

Barbiturates
Hypnotics and Sedatives
Secobarbital
Third Pregnancy Trimester
Street Drugs
Pentobarbital
Coma
Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Pregnant Women
Cause of Death
Anxiety
Parturition
barbituric acid
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Barbiturates. / Coupey, Susan M.

In: Pediatrics in review / American Academy of Pediatrics, Vol. 18, No. 8, 08.1997.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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