Barbiturate medicines are used to relieve anxiety, control
seizures, or produce a state that is like sleep. Barbiturates slow breathing, lower
blood pressure and body temperature, and slow thought processes and reaction
Frequent or long-term use of barbiturates may make a person
dependent on them. In the past, barbiturates were used to treat insomnia. But barbiturates are no longer recommended as sleeping aids because of the
potential for dependence.
Common barbiturates include phenobarbital, pentobarbital, and secobarbital.