Collective term for in former times frequently used sedatives, sleeping drugs and antiepileptics based on barbituric acid derivates. With exception of the Phenobarbitone (Luminal™) the barbiturates are not any longer in human therapeutically use, but still for killing animal by overdosage. See formula pattern.
The physiological effect of the barbitones exists with low doses in a calming, with higher doses in the sleep and with very high doses in a narcotic state. Particularly with ultralong and long-working barbitones exists an unwanted adverse effect in the so-called "hang over", i.e..,. on the next morning after the sleep released by the barbitones is still 80 to 90 per cent of the active substances in the organism. The feeling of the tiredness and listlessness caused thereby is often fought with coffee or exciting agents (waking amines and/or amphetaminee). So it can come to a vicious circle of a combined "sleep waking central craze". The main danger exists in an acute poisoning: Unconsciousness, breath inhibition and death by cycle failure. With longer chronic abuse it comes to physical dependence with symptoms such as course disturbances, hand trembling, eyelid flutter and a sweating.
Psychological dependence becomes clearly visible by increased attraction barness and sudden anger with restricted interests and drives.
Every now and then it can come to a "Delirium tremens" - like alcoholism. Barbitone-dependent must go through a proper withdrawal, since an abrupt withdrawal can lead to epileptic cramps and collapse conditions.
Barbituric Acid was first synthesized in 1864 by Adolf von Bayer at St. Barbara's day, which gives the name.