Generic name: Butabarbital
Brand name: Butisol Sodium
Drug class: Barbiturates
Medically reviewed by A Ras MD.
What is butabarbital?
Butabarbital is a prescription medicine that is used to treat sleep problems. Butabarbital may be given to you for other reasons.
BUTISOL SODIUM® (butabarbital sodium tablets, USP and butabarbital sodium oral solution, USP) is a non-selective central nervous system depressant which is used as a sedative or hypnotic. It is available for oral administration as Tablets containing 30 mg or 50 mg butabarbital sodium; and as Oral Solution containing 30 mg/5 mL, with alcohol (by volume) 7%. Other ingredients in the Tablets are: calcium stearate, corn starch, dibasic calcium phosphate, FD&C Blue No. 1 (30 mg only), FD&C Yellow No. 5 (30 mg and 50 mg), FD&C Yellow No. 6 (50 mg only). Other ingredients in the Oral Solution are: D&C Green No. 5, edetate disodium, FD&C Yellow No. 5 , flavors (natural and artificial), propylene glycol, purified water, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate. Butabarbital sodium occurs as a white, bitter powder which is freely soluble in water and alcohol, but practically insoluble in benzene and ether.
The structural formula for butabarbital sodium is:
Before taking butabarbital, tell your doctor:
- If you are allergic to butabarbital; any part of this medicine; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have or have ever had low mood (depression) or thoughts of killing yourself.
- If you have ever abused drugs.
- If you have ever had porphyria.
- If you have liver disease.
- If you are taking any other drugs that can make you sleepy. There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with butabarbital.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take butabarbital with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take butabarbital?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take butabarbital. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert after you take butabarbital. You may still feel sleepy the day after you take butabarbital. Avoid these tasks or actions until you feel fully awake.
- Have your blood work checked if you are on butabarbital for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
- This medicine may be habit-forming with long-term use.
- When sleep drugs are used nightly for more than a few weeks, they may not work as well to help sleep problems. This is known as tolerance. Only use sleep drugs for a short time. If sleep problems last, call the doctor.
- Do not take butabarbital for longer than you were told by your doctor.
- If you have been taking butabarbital for many weeks, talk with your doctor before stopping. You may want to slowly stop butabarbital.
- Avoid alcohol while taking butabarbital. Do not take butabarbital if you drank alcohol that evening or before bed.
- Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
- Some people have done certain tasks or actions while they were not fully awake like driving, making and eating food, and having sex. Most of the time, people do not remember doing these things. Tell your doctor if this happens to you.
- If you are allergic to tartrazine, talk with your doctor. Some products have tartrazine.
- This medicine may make you feel sleepy and less alert. This may lead to falling. The chance of falling is higher in older people. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
- If you are 65 or older, use butabarbital with care. You could have more side effects.
- Birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control may not work as well to prevent pregnancy. Use some other kind of birth control also like a condom when taking butabarbital.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking butabarbital, call your doctor right away.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is butabarbital best taken?
Use butabarbital as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take butabarbital at bedtime.
- Take butabarbital right before you get into bed.
- Do not take butabarbital unless you can get a full night’s sleep (at least 7 to 8 hours) before you need to be active again.
- If you still have trouble sleeping after 7 to 10 days, call your doctor.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- If you take butabarbital on a regular basis, take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If you will not be able to get a full night’s sleep (at least 7 hours) after taking the missed dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
- Many times butabarbital is taken on an as needed basis. Do not take more often than told by the doctor.
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
For other reasons:
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
What are the side effects of butabarbital that I need to call my doctor about immediately?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Mental, mood, or behavior changes that are new or worse.
- Shortness of breath.
- Very upset stomach or throwing up.
- Worse trouble sleeping.
- Feeling nervous and excitable.
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
- Not thinking clearly.
What are some other side effects of butabarbital?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling sleepy.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If overdose is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out butabarbital?
- Store at room temperature.
- Protect from light.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
SRC: NLM .