Phenobarbital tablets are a type of medication called barbiturates. Phenobarbital is a derivative of barbaric acid that functions as a non-selective central nervous system depressant, as noted by RxList. Its chemical formula is C12H12N2O3, and its molecular weight is 232.23 grams per mole.
This is an oral medicine that is used for the treatment of seizures and as a sedative. As a treatment for seizures, this drug works by inhibiting the abnormal electrical brain activity that can happen during an episode, as explained by WebMD. When used as a sedative, phenobarbital can be useful for insomnia or anxiety, but the drug should be used only for a short duration. People who need to take this drug should follow their doctors' dosing instructions.
There can be mild and severe side effects associated with phenobarbital. Some mild side effects are vomiting, dizziness and headaches. More severe side effects are a fever, a rash and inflammation around the mouth or eyes. A person that experiences these symptoms should see his doctor. There also can be the potential of an overdose with this drug. Signs of an overdose are eyes that move uncontrollably, trouble breathing and a decrease in body temperature. In the case of an overdose, people should seek emergency medical attention or contact poison control, as specified by WebMD.