By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Amobarbital Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.


What is amobarbital used for?

Amobarbital is used for short-term treatment of insomnia. Amobarbital becomes less effective for the treatment of insomnia after 2 weeks.

Amobarbital is also used for treating:

How should I take amobarbital?

This drug may be taken with or without food.

How do I store amobarbital?

Amobarbital is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store amobarbital in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of amobarbital that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush amobarbital down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using amobarbital?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of amobarbital or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • You have CV disease, depression or suicidal ideation, history of drug addiction or acute alcoholism.
  • You have renal and mild to moderate hepatic impairment.
  • You are elderly and debilitated patients, children.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using amobarbital during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking amobarbital. Amobarbital is pregnancy risk category D, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from amobarbital?

Side effects may occur when using this drug, such as:

  • Bradycardia, syncope, hypotension
  • Apnea, atelectasis (post-op), hypoventilation
  • Agitation, anxiety, ataxia, confusion, CNS depression, dizziness, fever, hallucinations, headache, insomnia, nightmares, nervousness, psychiatric disturbances, somnolence, abnormal thinking
  • Hyperkinesias
  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation
  • Liver damage
  • Megaloblastic anemia (following chronic phenobarbital use)
  • Angioedema, rash
  • Inj site reaction

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with amobarbital?

Amobarbital may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Using other drugs while treating with amobarbital may:

  • May reduce plasma levels of oral anticoagulants (e.g. warfarin, dicoumarol, acenocoumarol, phenprocoumon), corticosteroids, griseofulvin, doxycycline, Na valproate and valproic acid.
  • Constant monitoring of blood levels when concomitantly used w/ phenytoin.
  • May increase CNS depressant effect w/ antihistamines, sedative/hypnotics, tranquilisers.
  • May prolong the effect w/ MAOIs.
  • May reduce the effect of estradiol, progesterone, estrone and other steroidal hormones.

Does food or alcohol interact with amobarbital?

Amobarbital may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with amobarbital?

Amobarbital may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Dyspnea or airway obstruction
  • Porphyria
  • Sleep apnea
  • Pre-existing CNS depression or coma
  • Severe hepatic impairment


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using amobarbital.

What is the dose of amobarbital for an adult?

Oral – Severe intractable insomnia

Adult: 100-200 mg at bedtime. As amobarbital Na: 60-200 mg at bedtime.

Elderly: Reduce dose.

Parenteral – Hypnotic

Adult: 65-200 mg via IM inj (should not exceed 5 mL at any single site) or IV inj (should not exceed 50 mg/min) at bedtime. Max: 1,000 mg as a single dose.

Elderly: Reduce dose.

Parenteral – Sedation

Adult: As amobarbital Na: 30-50 mg via IM inj (should not exceed 5 mL at any single site) or IV inj (should not exceed 50 mg/min) given 2-3 times daily. Max: 1,000 mg as a single dose.

Child: 6-12 yr 65-500 mg.

Elderly: Reduce dose.

What is the dose of amobarbital for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is amobarbital available?

Amobarbital is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet
  • IM Injection

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

Symptoms of overdose are:

  • CNS depression
  • Absent or sluggish reflexes
  • Underventilation
  • Hypotension
  • Hypothermia
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Hemorrhagic blisters

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of amobarbital, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: October 5, 2017 | Last Modified: September 11, 2019

You might also like