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Barbiturate Abuse (cont.)

Medical Treatment for Barbiturate Abuse

The treatment of barbiturate abuse or overdose is generally supportive. The amount of support required depends on the person's symptoms.

  • If the person is drowsy but awake and can swallow and breathe without difficulty, the treatment may consist of just watching the person closely.
  • If the person is not breathing, a breathing machine is used to ensure the person can breathe well until the drugs have worn off.
  • Most people receive a liquid form of activated charcoal to bind to any drugs in their stomach. This may be done by placing a tube into the stomach (through the nose or mouth) or by having the person drink it.
  • Most people are admitted to the hospital or are observed in the emergency department for a number of hours. Other treatments depend on the specific situation.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Toxicity, Barbituate »

Barbiturates are a class of organic compounds that were developed in the late 19th century for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary