|Common names||Secobarbital, secobarbitone, Seconal|
secobarbital, also known as secobarbitone in british english and by the brand name seconal, is a short-acting psychoactive drug of the barbiturate class which produces powerful anxiolytic, hypnotic, muscle relaxant and amnesic effects. the combination drug tuinal has a combination of secobarbital and amobarbital. secobarbital is used medically as a hypnotic for the short-term treatment of insomnia and as an anticonvulsant in emergency situations, such as status epilepticus. secobarbital works in a similar fashion to benzodiazepines, however, barbiturates bind to a different and distinct allosteric site on the gabaa receptor.
compared to other barbiturates such as phenobarbital, secobarbital has a prompt onset of action, generally working within fifteen minutes of ingestion. secobarbital’s anxiolytic effects may last for up to 24 hours after the primary effects have worn off.
secobarbital, like most short-acting barbiturates, is deemed to be extremely addictive. the abrupt discontinuation of secobarbital in dependent individuals may be life-threatening and lead to seizures and even death. secobarbital drastically enhances the effects of other depressants such as alcohol, and concurrent use may lead to respiratory depression and possibly death.
secobarbital is a drug of the barbiturate class. barbiturate drugs contain the backbone of barbituric acid. secobarbital has a propenyl, and a methylpentane substitution on the 5-position of the barbituric acid backbone which gives it its unique pharmacological effects. the empirical formula of secobarbital is c12h18n2o3 and has a molar mass of 238.283 grams per mole.
barbiturates behave similarly to benzodiazepines. secobarbital binds to an allosteric site on the gabaa receptor and potentiates the effects of the endogenous ligand, gamma-aminobutyric acid. when barbiturates bind to the gabaa receptor, it causes the ion pore to open for extended periods of time, causing an increase of intracellular chlorine ion concentrations. as this site is the most prolific inhibitory receptor set within the brain, its modulation results in the sedating (or calming effects) of barbiturates on the nervous system.
around 45-60% of the secobarbital binds to membrane proteins. secobarbital is metabolized in the liver and excreted by the kidneys. its biological half-life is from 15 to 40 hours.