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Related to Seconal: Seconal sodium
Pregnancy Category: D
ClassificationTherapeutic: sedative hypnotics
Short-term treatment of insomnia.Adjunctive agent for anesthesia.
Produces CNS depression through GABA-like effects.
Induction of sleep, sedation, or anesthesia.
Absorption: Well absorbed following oral administration.
Distribution: Widely distributed; highest concentration in brain and liver. Crosses the placenta; small amounts enter breast milk.
Metabolism and Excretion: Metabolized by the liver.
Protein Binding: 55%.
Half-life: 30 hr.
Time/action profile (hypnotic effect)
|PO||10–15 min||2–4 hr||6–8 hr|
Contraindicated in: Hypersensitivity; Pre-existing CNS depression; Uncontrolled severe pain; Porphyria; Obstetric / Lactation: Pregnancy or lactation.
Use Cautiously in: Hepatic or renal impairment; Geriatric: Appears on Beers list. At ↑ risk for side effects (dose ↓ recommended); Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Prolonged use (may lead to physical & psychological dependence).
Adverse Reactions/Side Effects
Central nervous system
- abnormal thinking
- behavior changes
- excess sedation (most frequent)
- mental depression (most frequent)
- vertigo (most frequent)
- sleep disorders
- sleep driving
- respiratory depression
- physical dependence
- psychological dependence
Drug-Drug interactionAdditive CNS depression with alcohol, antihistamines, antidepressants, opioid analgesics, and other sedative/hypnotics.Valproates may ↓ metabolism and ↑ CNS depression.↑ metabolism and ↓ effects of hormonal contraceptives, chloramphenicol, cyclosporine, corticosteroids, dacarbazine, levothyroxine, and quinidine.St. John's wort may ↓ levels and effect.Concomitant use of kava, valerian,, chamomile, or hops can ↑ CNS depression.
Oral (Adults) Preoperative sedation—200–300 mg 1–2 hr before surgery; bedtime hypnotic—100 mg.
Oral (Children) Preoperative sedation—2–6 mg/kg (not to exceed 100 mg).
Capsules: 100 mg
- Assess sleep patterns prior to and periodically during therapy. Hypnotic doses of secobarbital suppress REM sleep. Patient may experience an increase in dreaming upon discontinuation of medication.
- Prolonged therapy may lead to psychological or physical dependence.
- Assess postoperative patients for pain. Secobarbital may increase responsiveness to painful stimuli.
Potential Nursing Diagnoses(Indications)
Risk for injury (Side Effects)
Deficient knowledge, related to medication regimen (Patient/Family Teaching)
- Supervise ambulation and transfer of patients following administration. Remove cigarettes. Side rails should be raised and call bell within reach at all times.
- Discuss the importance of preparing environment for sleep (dark room, quiet, avoidance of nicotine and caffeine).
- May cause daytime drowsiness. Caution patient to avoid driving and other activities requiring alertness for at least 24 hr after administration and until response to medication is known.
- Caution patient to avoid taking alcohol or other CNS depressants concurrently with this medication.
- Advise female patients to use a nonhormonal method of contraception during therapy and until next menstrual period. Instruct patient to contact health care professional immediately if pregnancy is planned or suspected, or if breastfeeding.
- Improvement in sleep pattern without excessive daytime sedation. Therapy is usually limited to a 2-wk period.
Seconal(sĕk′ə-nôl′, -năl′, -nəl)
A trademark for the drug secobarbital.