Phenobarbital Withdrawal Symptoms And Schedule

Last Updated: December 19, 2019

Authored by Roger Weiss, MD

Phenobarbital is a nonselective antidepressant substance that is used as a first-line treatment for convulsive seizures in children and adults. But due to its sedative-hypnotic nature, weaning off phenobarbital can result in some significant signs and symptoms. For this reason, the medication should not be stopped abruptly but should be withdrawn by tapering off phenobarbital over days or weeks. In this article, readers would learn about phenobarbital withdrawal symptoms and suitable detox protocol.

Phenobarbital Withdrawal Signs And Symptoms

Phenobarb withdrawal symptoms are very much similar to those of alcohol withdrawal and are noticeable after several hours of discontinuation. Is phenobarbital a barbiturate? Yes. Phenobarbital belongs to a class of drugs called barbiturates. Hence, patients are most likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms depending on the previous usage. These withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Malaise And Weakness
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Hypoxia
  • Irritability
  • Tremors
  • Nausea And Vomiting
  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Distortion In Visual Perception
  • Muscle Twitching
  • Tachycardia

Since Phenobarbital moa is to help minimize activeness, tension, and anxiety in the brain, patients are also likely to experience other phenobarb withdrawal symptoms like orthostatic hypotension and convulsions which may develop after a day or two. Hallucinations and delirium tremens may also occur before the symptoms disappear. Generally speaking, excess Phenobarbital medication should be avoided at all cost since withdrawal from it can result in life-threatening symptoms.

Phenobarbital Withdrawal Timeline

Phenobarbital withdrawal timeline of symptoms is quite similar to alcohol withdrawal symptoms and is likely to occur within 8-12 hrs after the last dose.

  1. Day 1: Within a day of withdrawal, patients would start to experience minor withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, dizziness, body weakness, vomiting, and insomnia. These signs continue for as long as 5-7 days.
  2. Week 1: At this stage, significant symptoms start to kick in. These withdrawal symptoms include convulsions, delirium, seizures, tactile, auditory and visual hallucinations, and high blood pressure.
  3. Week 2: By the second week of withdrawal, most of the symptoms should have dissipated and become easier to manage, although specific symptoms might linger for a couple of weeks.

To determine if Solfoton has been safely eradicated from the system, Phenobarbital blood test can be carried out. Phenobarbital blood test is used to measure the amount or concentration of Ssolfoton in the blood. The clearance (CL) of Solfoton is linearly related to body weight and matures with increasing age with a maturation half-life of 22.1 days.

woman with hallucinations from phenobarbital withdrawal

Phenobarbital Detox Process

People of all ages can become addicted to Luminal, which is one of the Phenobarbital brands. Once this happens, a gradual phenobarbital detox protocol is required to avoid relapse. The Solfoton detox process is a procedure in which a person is freed from excess Solfoton intake in the body. The detoxification process usually runs from days to weeks and is dependent on the following factors:

  • Substance abused
  • Frequency/duration of drug administration
  • Genetics
  • Presence of other drugs in the body
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Weight
  • Incidence of medical conditions affecting drug elimination, like kidney problems

During the detoxification process, a thorough assessment of the addict would be conducted. The individual will also answer a variety of questions about their history of Solfoton use. Depending on the patient’s specific situation, the ideal method of detox will be devised. Treatment options focus on:

  • Behavioral issues
  • Mental health and addiction
  • Counseling services
  • Homework assignment
  • 12 steps meetings
  • Psycho-education classes
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy cognitive behavior therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Psycho-education and support group

So many addicts abuse Solfoton by injecting, crushing, or snorting. Phenobarbital tablets exist in many forms and strengths. People who snort phenobarbital are more likely to experience severe side effects due to overdose. Continual use of Solfoton can result in dependence. At this point, the brain becomes so used to the action of Solfoton and can result in some significant brain disorder in the absence of it. If an active detox program is not in place to resist dependence, patients are exposed to some significant phenobarbital adverse effects on the bone, blood, connective tissue, and liver.

Phenobarbital Detox Medications

During the phenobarbital detox protocol, medications are given to help relieve the withdrawal symptoms, which are very uncomfortable and painful. The medications given during the detoxification process include atypical antipsychotics, antihistamines, and antidepressants drugs. Example of these drugs include:

  • Aripiprazole (Abilify)
  • Asenapine (Saphris)
  • Cariprazine (Vraylar)
  • Clozapine (Clozaril)
  • Lurasidone

These drugs assist in downplaying the severe withdrawal symptoms associated with the detoxification process. Some anticonvulsant drugs have been used in the past to hasten the detox process and prevent any increase in the frequency of seizures.

This was only achievable by tapering off phenobarbital dosage and introducing some anticonvulsant drugs like lamotrigine and levetiracetam.

Choosing A Phenobarbital Detox Facility

Detoxification is essential when one is serious about recovering from Solfoton addiction. There are numerous detox facilities around, and it can be quite hard to choose the right one that meets all demands.  When choosing a Solfoton facility, there are several factors to consider. These factors include:

  1. Methods of Treatment:  This is an important criterion to consider when choosing a Solfoton detox facility. Some facilities offer a natural recovery process to tackle addiction; others follow a scientific approach.
  2. Cost: The cost of detox program varies depending on the amenities, duration of the program, programs offered, and location. For someone with a tight budget, they can always research to find a rehab center that is affordable and cheap. Some centers offer various ways of payment aside from cash.
  3. Program length: There are different treatment programs, some last for a few days, others last for many weeks. Irrespective of the program lengths, all programs have a track record of success. The program length is significant, especially for individuals with family, work, or school commitments.
  4. Amenities: For patients with high demands for luxury and comfort, choosing a facility that provides luxurious amenities is the best decision to make. By opting for a luxurious rehab center, the detox process is hastened. There are also unique sport themed rehab facilities in place to assist athletes of all ages and abilities in discontinuing Solfoton consumption safely.

At this point, it is crucial for all patients to choose the best detox facility that would make the whole process stress-free and painless. Also, make sure the detox facility has a good track record of providing quality services.

Page Sources

  1. Jean M. Bidlacka, Harold H. Morris. Phenobarbital withdrawal seizures may occur over several weeks before remitting: Human data and hypothetical mechanism. Seizure. 2009 Jan; 18(1): 79–81.
  2. Theodore WH, Porter RJ, Raubertas RF. Seizures during barbiturate withdrawal: relation to blood level. Ann Neurol. 1987;22:644–7.

Published on: July 3rd, 2019

Updated on: December 19th, 2019

About Author

Roger Weiss, MD

Dr. Roger Weiss is a practicing mental health specialist at the hospital. Dr. Weiss combines his clinical practice and medical writing career since 2009. Apart from these activities, Dr. Weiss also delivers lectures for youth, former addicts, and everyone interested in topics such as substance abuse and treatment.


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