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phenobarbital (luminal)

available over the counter: no

uses: sedation before surgery;  control of certain types of seizures

mechanism of action: reduces activity in the central nervous system

side effects
• common: drowsiness, clumsiness, unstreadiness, lightheadedness
• less common: anxiety, nightmares, insomnia, constipation, headache
• serious: confusion, excitability, excessive sedation, sores on lips or mouth

concerns: do not stop medication abruptly;  taper, per physician over weeks

 

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