Barbiturates are a drug class that at one time was widely prescribed for various medical reasons. Their liability for abuse and danger for overdose, however, has greatly diminished their use in medicine over the past few decades. (1) Despite this, one barbiturate remains commonly used in medicine.
Here we go over butalbital abuse and addiction.
What is butalbital?
Butalbital is a barbiturate drug belonging to the sedative/hypnotic drug class. Butalbital is no longer prescribed as a single drug due to its abuse potential. Butalbital is used as a combination drug with either acetaminophen (Fioricet) or aspirin (Fiorinal) to treat pain and vascular headaches. (2)
Butalbital and acetaminophen combination drugs have consistently ranked in the top 300 most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States. (3)
Is Butalbital addictive?
Butalbital has the ability to cause an alcohol-like intoxication, similar to that of other barbiturates. Butalbital abuse leads to tolerance occurring to the drug. This means the individual will need to take ever-increasing amounts of the drug to achieve the same effects. Butalbital also causes physical dependence in those who abuse it.
This means that if the individual suddenly stops taking the medication, they will experience a withdrawal syndrome that is associated with barbiturates. (4)
What are the effects of Butalbital?
Butalbital is a central nervous system depressant. Butalbital produces effects similar to that of alcohol and other barbiturates. It is also often combined with other central nervous system depressants, which drastically increases its dangers. The following effects are commonly associated with butalbital (2)(5):
- Feelings of intoxication
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.