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Effects of Amytal Use

Amytal is a highly addictive Barbiturate derivative that can cause life-threatening effects when abused, including respiratory depression and seizures.

Understanding the Effects of Amytal

Amytal is a popular brand name for the Barbiturate derivative Amobarbital, which belongs to a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics. Amytal is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that is used for individuals battling insomnia and other sleep problems, anxiety, and some seizure disorders. Amytal is no longer commonly used and can only be administered by physicians or other licensed medical practitioners. The drug works in the brain by increasing the amounts of a neurotransmitter called GABA, which in turn calms the nerves, relaxes muscles, slows down the central nervous system, reduces anxiety, and induces sleep. Amytal reduces anxiety and helps sedate patients before surgery, and was once even used as a “truth serum.” Despite the effectiveness of the drug, Amytal has a high risk of addiction and accidental overdose (even when used as prescribed) and is only prescribed for short periods of time.

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Is Amytal Dangerous?

Amytal is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning it has a medically designated purposes but runs a high risk of abuse and dependence. Like other sedatives, Amytal relaxes the central nervous system and induces highly-euphoric effects in users. These effects have made it a popular drug of abuse in the past, but Amytal also has a variety of negative side effects that can range from moderate to severe.

When taken with alcohol or other drugs, the risk of experiencing the negative side effects is increased and can cause more complex health complications. Individuals who regularly abuse alcohol also often misuse Barbiturates such as Amytal to increase sedation. Some people will additionally use Amytal to help “come down” from stimulants such as Cocaine or Adderall, which significantly increases the risk of overdoseDue to the habit-forming properties of this medication and high risk of accidental overdose, Amytal poses a serious threat to users, and in some cases, can even be fatal.

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Short-Term Effects of Amytal Use

Amytal’s side effects range from everyday symptoms of Barbiturate use to more extreme complications. Although these symptoms are distressing, they are typically not fatal and less severe than long-term effects. The most reported short-term symptoms associated with Amytal include:

  • Nervousness
  • Skin sores/blisters
  • Drowsiness
  • Redness
  • Skin irritation
  • Hives
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Nightmares
  • Sleepiness
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Tolerance

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Long-Term Effects of Amytal Use

The long-term effects of Amytal can include life-threatening psychological, emotional, and physical effects. Some of these side effects can be fatal, or may need treatment to reduce the severity of symptoms. Some of the most commonly reported and/or serious long-term effects of Amytal use include all of the following, but are not limited to:

  • Central nervous system depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Mental disturbances
  • Hypoventilation
  • Depression
  • Low blood pressure
  • Liver damage
  • Muscle coordination/muscle spasms
  • Slow heart rate
  • Dependence/withdrawal
  • Fatal/non-fatal overdose
  • Coma
  • Death
  • Bouts of confusion
  • Vasodilation

The risk of experiencing these effects are worsened if someone engages in poly-drug use and combines them with other Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants like alcohol.

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Signs of Amytal Abuse

Amytal effects can change depending on the dosage. If someone becomes tolerant of Amytal, they require larger doses of the drug to feel the effects and will often increase their intake, which is one of the main signs of addiction. Other signs of Amytal addiction and abuse include:

  • Increasing dosage of Amytal
  • Doctor shopping to get more Amytal
  • Spending large amounts of money on Amytal
  • Feeling like the effects of Amytal are weak
  • Exhibiting any signs of overdose or indicated side effects
  • Combining Amytal with other substances (i.e. alcohol, Cocaine)
  • Missing work, school, or other functions to abuse Amytal
  • Enduring withdrawal symptoms

Doctor shopping is the act of a patient visiting multiple doctors to get more medication. In some cases, doctors may not check the patient’s history, or may believe a patient who lies just to get more medication. At this stage of behavior, individuals should take action to prevent further abuse.

The Effects of Amytal on Pregnancy

Amytal Use Can Affect Expecting Mothers And Cause Babies To Experience Seizures And High TemperaturesAmytal can affect expecting mothers. Like other Barbiturates, pregnant women should consult a doctor before taking Amytal and discuss frequency and dosage. The drug enters the bloodstream of the mother, which can cause birth defects in unborn children and drug dependency in born children if exposed. Unborn babies can still risk developing a dependence while in the womb as well as the chemicals enter and circle the bloodstream, directly affecting the fetus.

As a result, they can be born craving and addicted to Amytal and suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, this can cause babies to experience seizures and high temperatures as their small bodies are still developing.

Amytal Addiction and Withdrawal

Another effect of Amytal is withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms occur when someone who has grown dependent on a substance and can be life-threatening. Individuals can often feel nauseous, confused, experience seizures, and have problems sleeping. In order to avoid these symptoms, many may return back to using Amytal, even increasing their dosage. The result is a cycle of symptoms that can disrupt one’s work and home life. Some of the symptoms can lessen if the individual tapers Amytal use; however, tapering can still produce uncomfortable symptoms. The best way to ensure a safe withdrawal from the drug is through professional assistance under medical care.

Discover the Pathway to Treatment

Fighting an Amytal use disorder can be frightening and make you feel out of control. Despite this, know that you can overcome an Amytal addiction, and a medically-assisted detox program can help you do it. Detox rids the body of harmful chemicals, and reduces withdrawal symptoms. Facilities that offer Amytal detox will also provide any medications necessary to help combat the debilitating side effects of withdrawal. You or your loved one deserves treatment; contact a dedicated treatment provider today to learn more.

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