Phenobarbital is a barbiturate medication that is prescribed to treat seizures and calm anxiety. The medication is a nervous system depressant that can be taken as a tablet or liquid. Prescription drug abuse and addiction have become an epidemic in the United States, and phenobarbital is no exception. Phenobarbital is habit-forming, and once addiction occurs, a person will experience uncomfortable or dangerous phenobarbital withdrawal symptoms.
Phenobarbital is often used to treat epilepsy. People with epilepsy suffer seizures when the brain produces abnormal, rapid electrical signals. Phenobarbital treats this condition by increasing the activity of GABA neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters work to stabilize electrical activity.
Phenobarbital should always be taken in accordance with the prescription instructions. Withdrawal from phenobarbital can occur when someone stops taking the medicine abruptly or when a person develops addiction and attempts to quit.
Phenobarbital withdrawal should occur under medical supervision so that the patient can taper off the medication safely while being observed and treated for any complications that arise. Phenobarbital withdrawal symptoms are life-threatening in the case of severe addiction, which means that detox should never be attempted alone.
Symptoms will usually appear within the first eight to 12 hours and include:
- Muscle twitching
- Distorted vision
- Orthostatic hypotension (lowered blood pressure)
In cases of severe addiction, more serious symptoms can occur within 16 hours after the last use. These include seizures and delirium. Both of these symptoms can have life-threatening complications, making the withdrawal symptoms of phenobarbital more dangerous than those of some other drugs. A person experiencing withdrawal will be much more comfortable in a rehab setting and will have support and learn what to expect during their withdrawal process. Professionals will be able to see how the patient handles various levels of stress and make a plan for psychological treatment that will prepare the patient for how to manage the temptation to relapse. An addiction recovery center can offer all of the tools needed to achieve a successful addiction recovery.
Withdrawal From Phenobarbital at a Rehab Center
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