Uses of Barbiturates

There are several uses of barbiturates .

Thiopental sodium is used as

(1) the sole anesthetic agent for brief (15 minute) procedures,

(2) for induction of anesthesia prior to administration of other anesthetic agents,

(3) to supplement regional anesthesia,

(4) to provide hypnosis during balanced anesthesia with other agents for analgesia or muscle relaxation,

(5) for the control of convulsive states,

(6) in neurosurgical patients with increased intracranial pressure.

Thiopentone is administered by the intravenous route only. Some uses of barbiturates include – The drug should be titrated against patient requirements as governed by age, sex and body weight.

Younger patients require relatively larger doses than middle-aged and elderly persons; the latter metabolize the drug more slowly.

Therapeutic uses of barbiturates

  • As hypnotics: They have now been largely replaced by benzodiazepines.
  • As anticonvulsants: Barbiturates have been used to control convulsions in eclampsia and status epilepticus. They have now been replaced by benzodiazepines. For the use of phenobarbitone in epilepsy.
  • General anesthesia
  • Psychiatric uses: Amylobarbilonc, pentobarbitone and thiopentone are employed by IV route to produce a state of deep sedation in which the cortical inhibitions are abolished. This may bring forth the suppressed psychic disturbances; the patient becomes m6re communicative and amenable to suggestions. This procedure of narcoanalysis, amytal interview (lie detection test) may be useful.
  • Neonatal Jaundice: Phenobarbitone stimulates the liver to produce glucuronyl transferase, the enzyme essential for metabolism of bilirubin. It is, therefore, used to treat certain types of neonatal jaundice.

Pre-puberty requirements are the same for both sexes, but adult females require less than adult males. One of the uses of barbiturates also include proportionality of dose such as, the dose is usually proportional to body weight and obese patients require a larger dose than relatively lean persons of the same weight.

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