Barbiturate medicines are used to relieve anxiety, control seizures, or produce a state that is like sleep. Barbiturates slow breathing, lower blood pressure and body temperature, and slow thought processes and reaction times.
Frequent or long-term use of barbiturates may make a person dependent on them. In the past, barbiturates were used to treat insomnia. But barbiturates are no longer recommended as sleeping aids because of the potential for dependence.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Steven C. Schachter, MD - Neurology|
|Last Revised||August 26, 2011|
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise