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All about: Amobarbital Sodium

Big Image Pronouncation: (am-oh-BAR-bih-tahl SO-dee-uhm)
Class: Sedative, Hypnotic, Barbiturate

Trade Names:
Amytal Sodium
- Powder for injection 500 mg

Amytal (Canada)

Mechanism of Action


Depresses sensory cortex; decreases motor activity; alters cerebellar function and produces drowsiness, sedation and hypnosis.



Rapidly distributed to all tissues and fluids, with high concentrations in brain, liver, and kidneys. Bound to plasma and tissue proteins.


Metabolized by hepatic microsomal enzyme system.


Plasma t ½ is about 25 h. Metabolites excreted in urine and to a lesser extent in the feces. Negligible amount eliminated unchanged in urine.


0.75 to 1 h.


6 to 8 h.

Indications and Usage

Relief of anxiety; short-term therapy for insomnia; induction of preanesthetic sedation.


Hypersensitivity to barbiturates; history of addiction to sedative-hypnotic drugs; history of porphyria; severe liver impairment; respiratory disease with dyspnea; patients with nephritis.

Dosage and Administration


PO/IM/IV 65 to 200 mg at bedtime.


PO/IM/IV 30 to 50 mg twice daily or 3 times daily.


PO/IM 2 to 6 mg/kg/dose.

General Advice

  • Reconstitute solution with sterile water for injection, rotating vial to mix. Do not shake vial. Solution should clear within 5 min.
  • Do not dilute with lactated Ringer's solution.
  • Do not administer if solution is discolored or if precipitate is present.
  • After reconstitution, inject solution within 30 min.


Store at room temperature. Do not freeze.

Drug Interactions

Alcohol, CNS depressants

Depressant effects of these drugs may be enhanced.

Anticoagulants, beta-blockers, calcium-channel blockers (eg, verapamil), theophyllines

Activity of these drugs may be reduced.


Serum concentrations of carbamazepine, valproic acid and succinimides may be reduced. Valproic acid may increase barbiturate serum levels.


Effectiveness may be reduced.

Estrogens, estrogen-containing oral contraceptives

Effectiveness may be reduced.

Laboratory Test Interactions

Decreased serum bilirubin; false-positive phentolamine test results.

Adverse Reactions


Bradycardia; hypotension; syncope.


Drowsiness; agitation; confusion; headache; hyperkinesia; ataxia; CNS depression; paradoxical excitement; nightmares; psychiatric disturbances; hallucinations; insomnia; dizziness.


Nausea; vomiting; constipation.


Blood dyscrasias (agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia).


Liver damage.


Hypoventilation; apnea; laryngospasm; bronchospasm.


Hypersensitivity reactions (eg, angioedema, rashes, exfoliative dermatitis); fever; injection site reactions (eg, local pain, thrombophlebitis).



IV site

Observe IV site during and after infusion. Extravasation or inadvertent intra-arterial injection may cause tissue necrosis, arterial spasm, thrombosis, or gangrene. If signs of extravasation or phlebitis appear at injection site, discontinue IV infusion and notify health care provider.


Category D .


Excreted in breast milk.


Safety and efficacy not established in children younger than 6 yr of age.


Reduce dosage.

Renal Function

Use with caution; reduce dosage.

Hepatic Function

Use with caution; reduce dosage.

Drug dependence

Tolerance or psychologic and physical dependence may occur with continued use.



Respiratory depression, CNS depression progressing to Cheyne-Stokes respiration, oliguria, tachycardia, hypotension, hypothermia, coma, shock, cessation of electrical activity in brain (extreme overdose).

Patient Information

  • Advise patient not to increase dosage or stop therapy without advice of health care provider.
  • Instruct patient to avoid alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine products.
  • Advise patient that drug may cause drowsiness, and to use caution while driving or performing other tasks requiring mental alertness.
  • Inform patient to report the following symptoms to health care provider: excessive sleepiness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting.

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