Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

For patients taking the extended-release capsule or tablet form of this medicine:

  • These capsules or tablets are to be swallowed whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.

For patients using the rectal suppository form of this medicine:

  • To insert the suppository: First remove the foil wrapper and moisten the suppository with cold water. Lie down on your side and use your finger to push the suppository well up into the rectum.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water.

Use this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. If too much is used, it may become habit-forming (causing mental or physical dependence).

If you think this medicine is not working properly after you have taken it for a few weeks, do not increase the dose. To do so may increase the chance of your becoming dependent on the medicine. Instead, check with your doctor.

If you are taking this medicine for epilepsy, it must be taken every day in regularly spaced doses as ordered by your doctor in order for it to control your seizures. This is necessary to keep a constant amount of medicine in the blood. To help keep the amount constant, do not miss any doses.

Dosing

The dose medicines in this class will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of these medicines. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

For amobarbital

  • For oral dosage form (tablets or capsules):
    • For trouble in sleeping:
      • Adults—65 to 200 milligrams (mg) at bedtime.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For daytime sedation:
      • Adults—50 to 300 mg, taken in smaller doses during the day.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight or size and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 mg per kilogram (kg) (0.9 mg per pound) of body weight taken three times a day.
    • For sedation before surgery:
      • Adults—200 mg taken one to two hours before surgery.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 to 6 mg per kg (0.9 to 2.7 mg per pound) of body weight, taken before surgery. However, the dose is usually not more than 100 mg.
    • For sedation during labor:
      • Adults—200 to 400 mg every one to three hours if needed. However, the total dose is usually not more than 1000 mg.
  • For injection dosage form:
    • For trouble in sleeping:
      • Adults—65 to 200 mg, injected into a muscle or vein.
      • Children up to 6 years of age—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 to 3 mg per kg (0.9 to 1.4 mg per pound) of body weight, injected into a muscle.
      • Children 6 years of age and over—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 to 3 mg per kg (0.9 to 1.4 mg per pound) of body weight, injected into a muscle, or 65 to 500 mg injected into a vein.
    • For daytime sedation:
      • Adults—30 to 50 mg two or three times a day, injected into a muscle or vein
    • For sedation before surgery:
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 3 to 5 mg per kg (1.4 to 2.3 mg per pound) of body weight or 65 to 500 mg per dose, injected into a vein.
    • For control of seizures:
      • Adults and children 6 years of age and over—65 to 500 mg per dose, injected into a vein.
      • Children up to 6 years of age—Dose is based on body weight or size and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 3 to 5 mg per kg (1.4 to 2.3 mg per pound) of body weight, injected into a muscle or vein.

For aprobarbital

  • For oral dosage form (elixir):
    • For trouble in sleeping:
      • Adults—40 to 160 milligrams (mg) at bedtime.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For daytime sedation:
      • Adults—40 mg three times a day.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.

For butabarbital

  • For oral dosage forms (elixir or tablets):
    • For trouble in sleeping:
      • Adults—50 to 100 milligrams (mg) at bedtime.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For daytime sedation:
      • Adults—15 to 30 mg three or four times a day.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight or size and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 mg per kilogram (kg) (0.9 mg per pound) of body weight three times a day.
    • For sedation before surgery:
      • Adults—50 to 100 mg sixty to ninety minutes before surgery.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 to 6 mg per kg (0.9 to 2.7 mg per pound) of body weight. However, the dose is usually not more than 100 mg.

For mephobarbital

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For daytime sedation:
      • Adults—32 to 100 milligrams (mg) three or four times a day.
      • Children—16 to 32 mg three or four times a day.
    • For control of seizures:
      • Adults—200 to 600 mg a day, taken in smaller doses during the day.
      • Children 5 years of age and over—32 to 64 mg three or four times a day.
      • Children up to 5 years of age—16 to 32 mg three or four times a day.

For metharbital

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For control of seizures:
      • Adults—At first, 100 milligrams (mg) one to three times a day. Your doctor may increase your dose if needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 800 mg a day.
      • Children—50 mg one to three times a day.

For pentobarbital

  • For oral dosage forms (elixir or capsules):
    • For trouble in sleeping:
      • Adults—100 milligrams (mg) at bedtime.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For daytime sedation:
      • Adults—20 mg three or four times a day.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 to 6 mg per kilogram (kg) (0.9 to 2.7 mg per pound) of body weight per day.
    • For sedation before surgery:
      • Adults—100 mg before surgery.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 to 6 mg per kilogram (0.9 to 2.7 mg per pound) of body weight, taken before surgery. However, the dose is usually not more than 100 mg.
  • For injection dosage form:
    • For trouble in sleeping:
      • Adults—150 to 200 mg, injected into a muscle. Or, 100 mg injected into a vein, with additional small doses given if needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 500 mg.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 to 6 mg per kg (0.9 to 2.7 mg per pound) of body weight, injected into a muscle. Or, 50 mg injected into a vein, with additional small doses given if needed.
    • For sedation before surgery:
      • Adults—150 to 200 mg, injected into a muscle.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 to 6 mg per kg (0.9 to 2.7 mg per pound) of body weight, injected into a muscle. However, the dose is usually not more than 100 mg.
    • For control of seizures:
      • Adults—At first, 100 mg injected into a vein. Additional small doses may be given if needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 500 mg.
      • Children—At first, 50 mg injected into a muscle or vein. Additional small doses may be given if needed.
  • For rectal dosage form (suppositories):
    • For trouble in sleeping:
      • Adults—120 to 200 mg inserted into the rectum at bedtime.
      • Children 12 to 14 years of age—60 or 120 mg inserted into the rectum at bedtime.
      • Children 5 to 12 years of age—60 mg inserted into the rectum at bedtime.
      • Children 1 to 4 years of age—30 or 60 mg inserted into the rectum at bedtime.
      • Children 2 months to 1 year of age—30 mg inserted into the rectum at bedtime.
      • Children up to 2 months of age—Dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For daytime sedation:
      • Adults—30 mg inserted into the rectum two to four times a day.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight or size and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 mg per kg (0.9 mg per pound) of body weight, inserted into the rectum three times a day.
    • For sedation before surgery:
      • Children 12 to 14 years of age—60 or 120 mg inserted into the rectum.
      • Children 5 to 12 years of age—60 mg inserted into the rectum.
      • Children 1 to 4 years of age—30 or 60 mg inserted into the rectum.
      • Children 2 months to 1 year of age—30 mg inserted into the rectum.
      • Children up to 2 months of age—Dose must be determined by your doctor.

For phenobarbital

  • For oral dosage forms (elixir, capsules, or tablets):
    • For trouble in sleeping:
      • Adults—100 to 320 milligrams (mg) at bedtime.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For daytime sedation:
      • Adults—30 to 120 mg a day, taken in smaller doses two or three times during the day.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight or size and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 mg per kilogram (kg) (0.9 mg per pound) of body weight three times a day.
    • For sedation before surgery:
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 1 to 3 mg per kg (0.45 to 1.4 mg per pound) of body weight.
    • For control of seizures:
      • Adults—60 to 250 mg a day.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 1 to 6 mg per kg (0.45 to 2.7 mg per pound) of body weight a day.
  • For injection dosage form:
    • For trouble in sleeping:
      • Adults—100 to 325 mg, injected into a muscle or vein, or under the skin.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For daytime sedation:
      • Adults—30 to 120 mg a day, injected into a muscle or a vein, or under the skin, in smaller doses two or three times during the day.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For sedation before surgery:
      • Adults—130 to 200 mg, injected into a muscle sixty to ninety minutes before surgery.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 1 to 3 mg per kg (0.45 to 1.4 mg per pound) of body weight, injected into a muscle or vein sixty to ninety minutes before surgery.
    • For control of seizures:
      • Adults—100 to 320 mg injected into a vein. The dose may be repeated if needed, but is usually not more than 600 mg a day. However, higher doses may be needed for certain types of continuing seizures.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. At first, the usual dose is 10 to 20 mg per kg (4.5 to 9 mg per pound) of body weight, injected into a vein. Later, 1 to 6 mg per kg (0.45 to 2.7 mg per pound) of body weight a day, injected into a vein. Higher doses may be needed for certain types of continuing seizures.

For secobarbital

  • For oral dosage form (capsules):
    • For trouble in sleeping:
      • Adults—100 milligrams (mg) at bedtime.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For daytime sedation:
      • Adults—30 to 50 mg three or four times a day.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight or size and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 mg per kilogram (kg) (0.9 mg per pound) of body weight three times a day.
    • For sedation before surgery:
      • Adults—200 to 300 mg one or two hours before surgery.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 to 6 mg per kg (0.9 to 2.7 mg per pound) of body weight one or two hours before surgery. However, the dose is usually not more than 100 mg.
  • For injection dosage form:
    • For trouble in sleeping:
      • Adults—100 to 200 mg injected into a muscle, or 50 to 250 mg injected into a vein.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight or size and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 3 to 5 mg per kg (1.4 to 2.3 mg per pound) of body weight, injected into a muscle. However, the dose is usually not more than 100 mg.
    • For sedation before dental procedures:
      • Adults—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 1.1 to 2.2 mg per kg (0.5 to 1 mg per pound) of body weight, injected into a muscle ten to fifteen minutes before the procedure.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your dentist.
    • For sedation before a nerve block:
      • Adults—100 to 150 mg, injected into a vein.
    • For sedation before surgery:
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 4 to 5 mg per kg (1.8 to 2.3 mg per pound) of body weight, injected into a muscle.
    • For seizures from tetanus:
      • Adults—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 5.5 mg per kg (2.5 mg per pound) of body weight, injected into a muscle or vein. Dose may be repeated every three to four hours if needed.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 3 to 5 mg per kg (1.4 to 2.3 mg per pound) of body weight, injected into a muscle or vein.

For secobarbital and amobarbital combination

  • For oral dosage form (capsules):
    • For trouble in sleeping:
      • Adults—1 capsule at bedtime.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For sedation before surgery:
      • Adults—1 capsule taken one hour before surgery.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Store the suppository form of this medicine in the refrigerator.