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Phenobarbital is a custom-made drug in the family of drugs known as barbiturates. It is a potent drug and is classified as a controlled substance due it its potential to be habit forming. Phenobarbital has multiple uses in medicine but its primary uses are for controlling seizures, relieving anxiety, and as a sedative for short-term relaxation. Phenobarbital is effective at slowing activity in the brain and nervous system.


Your compounding pharmacist can compound phenobarbital, like most drugs, into various forms of delivery. Ask your doctor for more information on forms of delivery. Typically, for many patients, phenobarbital is given in tablet and elixir form for oral delivery, to be taken one to three times per day as your doctor directs. Phenobarbital is known to be habit forming so never take more than your doctor prescribes, or take this drug longer than your doctor instructs you to take it. Always precisely follow your doctor's directions on dosage and usage.


Side effects may be possible while using phenobarbital. Discuss all possible side effects with your doctor at your initial consultation. See your doctor at once if you experience anything that lingers or worsens. Common side effects seen with phenobarbital are:

  • Headaches
  • Excitement
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness

Severe Side Effects:

It is possible that some patients may experience potentially severe and dangerous side effects while using phenobarbital. If you experience anything that is listed below or anything that feels severe that may not be listed below, never delay, seek medical treatment immediately.

  • Swelling (eyes, cheeks, lips)
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Slowed Breathing
  • Rash
  • Peeling Skin
  • Blistering Skin
  • Confusion
  • Fever


Never take phenobarbital without your primary care doctor's expressed authorization. Phenobarbital has the propensity to be a highly addictive drug and no one should take it unless they are under the direct care of a certified medical doctor.

Phenobarbital is contraindicated for all of the conditions or issues listed below.

  • Family History of Porphyria
  • Personal History of Porphyria
  • History of Addiction to Drugs
  • Severe Liver Disease
  • Severe Asthma
  • Severe COPD

Phenobarbital may be contraindicated for any of the conditions or issues listed below. Talk to your doctor if anything on the list below applies to you.

  • Pituitary Gland Disorder
  • Thoughts of Suicide
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Kidney Disease
  • Any Food Allergies
  • Any Drug Allergies
  • Liver Disease
  • Temporary Pain
  • Chronic Pain
  • Alcohol Intoxication
  • High Ammonium Level in Blood
  • Conditions Requiring Use of Blood Thinners such as Coumadin, Warfarin, and Jantoven

IMPORTANT WARNING: As there may be some overlap of 'absolute' contraindications and 'possible' contraindications, only your doctor can decide if phenobarbital will be safe for your use. Never take phenobarbital unless you have had a frank and comprehensive discussion with her or him about all the possible contraindications relevant to you and your particular condition, age, and current health status.

  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA