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Sounds Like: LOOM.in.all

Classification: Barbiturate

Controlled Substance Act Schedule: IV

Other names for Luminal

  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenobarbitone
  • Phenobarb

Luminal Addiction

McCurnin’s Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians classifies Luminal as a drug with low potential for the development of dependence. In other words, it’s not a drug that rapidly causes physical or chemical dependence to build. However, physicians caution against administering the drug to those who already have dependence on barbiturates or a history of such dependence. Moreover, prolonged use can cause dependence to develop regardless. Luminal is used recreationally like some other barbiturates, but it’s not very common.

Phenobarbital depresses the central and peripheral nervous systems, so when users overdose, important bodily functions slow down. This manifests as a slow resting heart rate, unusually slow breathing, low body temperature (slow warming) and low blood pressure (slow circulation). These things can even culminate in mitigation of consciousness, which constitutes coma in extreme cases.

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Intended Use of Luminal

Phenobarbital is intended to treat any type of seizure but absence seizures. Its efficacy in this regard is comparable to that of phenytoin. Phenobarbital is used less often than phenytoin because it’s not tolerated as well.

How Luminal Is Taken

There are four main methods of administering Luminal. It can be taken orally, inserted rectally, injected intramuscularly or injected intravenously.

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Side Effects of

Sedation is the primary side effect associated with Luminal. This persists even to the point of hypnosis. In fact, Luminal is occasionally administered specifically for the purpose of inducing these effects. Its aforementioned effects to the central nervous system include ataxia and dizziness. Elderly patients also sometimes experience confusion and even paradoxical hyperactivity.

Signs of an
Addiction to Luminal

The only signs of dependence on Luminal might be a history of dependence on barbiturates and incessant phenobarbital-seeking behavior. One might also develop a habit that translates to dependence if using Luminal as a sleep pill, though this is not its intended use.

Abuse Facts

Phenobarbital is the preferred drug of choice among veterinarians to treat epilepsy in cats and dogs.

Phenobarbital hit the market as a sedative in 1912 when Bayer introduced it as "Luminal." It lost its place in the sedative market segment when the 1960s brought a wave of benzodiazepines.