d. Cautions and Contraindications. Care must be taken not to give an
overdose of the drug. The drug should not be used in clients with kidney disease.
e. Supply. Phenobarbital is supplied as 16-mg and 32-mg tablets; as a
1-ounce powder; as sodium phenobarbital injection in 2-ml ampules containing 162 mg
per ml; and as a sterile powder in 125-mg ampules.
SODIUM SECOBARBITAL (SECONAL SODIUM)
a. Action and Uses. This drug is a short-acting barbiturate that becomes
effective in 15 to 30 minutes and produces sleep lasting 2 to 4 hours. It is used in
people who have difficulty in falling asleep, and as a preanesthetic agent.
b. Administration. The usual adult dose for treatment of insomnia is 100 mg
given orally at bedtime. As a preanesthetic agent, 200 to 300 mg is given one to two
hours before surgery.
c. Cautions and Contraindications. The drug should not be given to people
who state they are allergic to it. Use of this drug may result in liver damage, since it is
detoxified mainly by the liver. It should not be used on people with disorders of the
d. Supply. The drug is supplied as 100-mg capsules.
3-10. SODIUM PENTOBARBITAL (NEMBUTAL)
a. Action and Uses. Since sodium pentobarbital and sodium secobarbital are
both short-acting barbiturates, sodium pentobarbital has essentially the same actions
and uses as sodium secobarbital, discussed above.
b. Administration. The usual hypnotic dose, oral or intravenous, is 100 mg.
c. Cautions and Contraindications. The cautions and contraindications are
the same as with sodium secobarbital.
d. Supply. Sodium pentobarbital is supplied in 100-mg tablets and capsules.
Sodium pentobarbital injection is supplied in 2-ml and 5-ml ampules containing 50 mg
3-11. DIAZEPAM (VALIUM)
a. Action and Uses. Diazepam is widely used as a daytime sedative. In
addition, it has muscle relaxant properties and may be used to relieve muscle spasm
(reflex spasm to muscle or joint inflammation or trauma), muscle spasticity (such as in
cerebral palsy or paraplegia), athetosis, tetanus, and stiff-man syndrome. It can be
used adjunctively in the treatment of convulsive disorders.