With over 19 million barbiturate prescriptions written each year, many have found themselves addicted to prescription barbiturates.(1) Luminal , also referred to as Phenobarbital, is a generic barbiturate commonly prescribed for seizures, sleep disorders, and anxiety. However, in recent years, Luminal has gained notoriety for its addictive properties.
Here, we break down what Luminal is, the signs of addiction, and the withdrawal symptoms associated with the prescription barbiturate.
What is Luminal?
Luminal is the name of the drug phenobarbital. It’s most common uses include the treatment of seizures in humans and animals, directly reducing how often seizures occur. (2) Luminal has also been found to lower the risk of losing consciousness during a seizure. Some physicians have also prescribed it for sleep disorders. (2)
The drug can be taken as an oral capsule, an elixir, or as an injection into the muscle. (3) Luminal begins to slow down the central nervous system in the body and slows down currents in the brain that can result in seizures.
Barbiturates such as Luminal impact the brain’s gamma-Aminobutyric acid receptors (GABA). Luminal is responsible for creating feelings of calm, which often create desire to abuse the drug.
Signs of Luminal Addiction
Luminal does carry a high risk for abuse and is both physically and psychologically addictive. Most doctors will only prescribe the drug for short periods of use, typically no longer than two weeks. Luminal abuse can often lead to overdose that may result in death.
Although Luminal’s effects are similar to benzodiazepines, their chemical makeups are uniquely different. Prolonged Luminal abuse can cause the user’s brain to increase production of naturally occuring GABA.
Some common signs of Luminal addiction include:
- An intoxicated state similar to alcohol
- Slurred speech
- Poor decision making
- Reduced reactions
- Memory loss
- Agitation or mood swings
- Impotence (in men)
Luminal withdrawal symptoms often mimic those of alcohol withdrawal. The withdrawal symptoms are likely to take place 8 to 12 hours after the last dose.
Some of the most common symptoms of Luminal withdraw include:
- Trembling and shaking
- Dizziness and nausea
- Sleep disturbances
- Changes in vision
- Vivid or odd dreams
Prescription barbiturates carry some of the most severe withdrawal symptoms of any drug. Withdrawal can be life threatening. It is highly recommended to attend a medical detox in nearly all instances of barbiturate addiction.
Vital signs must be monitored during the process of withdrawing from Luminal since there can be severe complications associated with withdrawal from the drug.
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.