Description: Allobarbital is a barbiturate derivative. Barbiturates are drugs that act as central nervous system depressants, and can therefore produce a wide spectrum of effects, from mild sedation to total anesthesia.

Allobarbital was used primarily as an anticonvulsant although it has now largely been replaced by newer drugs with improved safety profiles. It was also used as an adjutant to boost the activity of analgesic drugs, and in the treatment of insomnia and anxiety.

Allobarbital should not be given to:

  • Pregnant and lactating women
  • Elderly and debilitated patients
  • Young adults and children
  • Patients with depression; pulmonary insufficiency; sleep apnea; pre-existing central nervous system depression or coma; severe liver impairment; and porphyria
  • Dependence
  • Drowsiness
  • Sedation
  • Ataxia (loss of control of bodily movements)
  • Respiratory depression
  • Headache
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances
  • Skin reactions
  • Confusion and memory defects
  • Paradoxical excitement
  • Irritability
  • Hypersensitivity reactions
  • Blood disorders
  • Congenital malformations (if taken during pregnancy)
  • Nystagmus (involuntary, rapid and repetitive movement of the eyes)
  • Slurred speech


Give with caution in patients with kidney insufficiency. Given to patients in pain, allobarbital may provoke a paradoxical excitatory reaction, unless an analgesic is given concomitantly; drowsiness may persist the next day.



Sedation or respiratory depression may be enhanced by central nervous system (CNS) depressants. MAOIs (a class of anti-depressants) may prolong the CNS depressant effects and also reduce the convulsive threshold, thereby antagonize the anti-convulsant action of barbiturates.

Overdose symptoms include altered level of consciousness, difficulty in thinking, drowsiness or coma, faulty judgment, lack of coordination, shallow breathing, slow/slurred speech and sluggishness. If overdose is suspected, bring the victim to the hospital immediately.

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