Amobarbital is a barbiturate with sedative-hypnotic and analgesic properties . It is a white crystalline powder with no odor and a slightly bitter taste. more...
Mechanism of Action
According to an in vitro conducted at the University of British Columbia, amobarbital works by activating GABAA receptors, which decreases input resistance, depresses burst and tonic firing, especially in ventrobasal and intralaminar neurons, while at the same time increasing burst duration and mean conductance at individual chloride channels; this increases both the amplitude and decay time of inhibitory postsynaptic currents.
Amobarbital undergoes both hydroxylation to form 3'-hydroxyamobarbital, which has both levorotatory and dextrorotatory isomers and N-glucosidation to form 1-(beta-D-glucopyranosyl)amobarbital.
- seizure disorders
- catatonic mutism, sometimes combined with caffeine to combat amobarbital-induced somnolence.
Sodium amobarbital has a reputation for having activity as a truth serum, where the person under the influence of the drug will submit to almost any request given by another person. It has been used to convict murderers such as Andres English-Howard, who strangled his girlfriend to death but pleaded innocent. He had surreptitiously been administered the drug, under the influence of which he revealed why he strangled her and under which circumstances. He was convicted on the basis of these statements, and committed suicide in his cell.
If more than the prescribed amount is taken it can be habit forming causing a mental or physical dependence.
Some side effects of overdose may include confusion (severe); decrease in or loss of reflexes; drowsiness (severe); fever; irritability (continuing); low body temperature; poor judgment; shortness of breath or slow or troubled breathing; slow heartbeat; slurred speech; staggering; trouble in sleeping; unusual movements of the eyes; weakness (severe).
Amobarbital has been known to decrease the effects of hormonal birth control, sometimes to the point of uselessness. Being chemically related to phenobarbital, it might also do the same thing to digitoxin, a cardiac glycoside.
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