This post is a amendment to my Feb 16th, 2010 post on the availability of "Barbituates" in the USA & 39 other countries. The barbituate "Butalbital" (primarily used for tension headaches...not for insomnia) is still widely available as a combination capsule or pill, for oral use. It is also available both "with the addition of the narcotic Codeine, or without the narcotic Codeine, in both cases, still with a combination of ingredients in the formula. The properties in "Butalbital" are similar to those of "Amobarbital" (Source: Martindale, The Complete Drug Reference 36th edition, 2009, published by the Pharmaceutical Press, London, England. Preparations in the USA: Butabital+Aspirin tabs, Butabital+APAP+Caffeine Capsules, Butibital+APAP+Caffeine Tabs, Butabital+Aspirin+Caffeine Capsules, Butabital+Aspirin+Caffeine Tabs, Butabital+Aspirin+Caffeine+Codeine Phospate Capsules.
USA: Amaphen with Codeine Americet, Anolor, Ascomp with Codeine, Bucap, Butex, Dolgic, Dolgic LQ, Dolgic Plus, Endolor, Esgic,Esgic Plus, Fioricet, Fioricet with Codeine, Margesic, Marten-Tab, Medigesic, Pacaps, Phrenilin, Prenilin with Caffeine and Codeine, Promocet, Prominol, Pyridum Plus, Repan, Sedspap, Tencet, Tencon, Trellium Plus, Triad
Canada: Fiorinal, Fiorinal C, ratio-Tecnal, ratio-Tecnal C, Trianal, Trianal C.
Denmark: Gynergen Comp Italy: Optaliclon Switzerland: Cafergot PB
The following countries have removed Butalbital from the marketplace: Chile: Cafergot PB, South Africa has removed Butalbital: Cafergot PB, Spain has removed Butalbital: Cafergot PB
Brallobarbital has been removed worldwide, including United Kingdom: Vesparax (alleged to be the long available barbituate in United Kingdom that Guitarist Jimi Hendrix overdosed on). unverified.
Chloral Hydrate, not a barbituate, but is a hypnotic and sedative with properties similiar to those of the barbituates. It is still available in "its pure original form" in 4 countries, and, as a combination drug in 5 other countries.
Pure Chloral Hydrate: USA: Aquachloral, Somnote. Germany: Chloraldurat Switzerland: Chloraldurat, Medianox, Nervifine. United Kingdom: Welldorm.
Multi-ingredient Chloral Hydrate: Belgium: Dentophar, Sedemol, Sulfa-Sedemol, Synthol. France: Bain de Bouche Lipha. Russia: Efcamon. Spain: Dentol Topico. Turkey: Dilan
In my earlier post regarding Pentobarbital, in capsules or pills, it has also been removed from the marketplace in Canada, Hong Kong, Thailand, in addition to the USA, all with the tradename of "Nembutal". It appears to still be available in the USA as a "combination ingredient" known as "Cafatine-PB" , although this same tradename, has been removed from the Canadian marketplace. The ingredients of "Cafatine-PB" are Ergotamine Tartrate, Caffeine, Belledonna, Pentobarbital Sodium. The USA pharmaceutical manufacturer is Major. It is marketed primarily for Migraine headaches.
"Quiescentlyhot" 5-29-07 original post. and question, if barbs used for insomnia are so abusable & rare, why didn't the FDA just ban them like they did with Methaqualone (Quaalude) when Lemmon Pharmaceuticals stopped production in late 1983, with the new federal law, activated in 1984? All I can give is my personal opinion, as I am not a M.D. or a Pharmacist, but I can share my direct experience from the 1970's going forward. In the late 1960's, the "barbituate substitutes" were promoted by the Pharma manufacturers as much less addictive, as stated in late 1960's/early 1970's PDR's. Methaqualone first gained immense popularity in the United Kingdom, in the late 1960's, as the No 1 top selling sedative, (Mandrax), and within a few years, by 1972, William H Rorer's "Quaalude" was the No. 6 top selling ethical pharmaceutical in the USA, beating out all other sedatives, and minor tranquilizers & benzo's, with the exception, of the No 1 selling Roche Valium. The medication gained immense popularity as a recreational drug, during all of the 1970's, and early 1980's, due to its reputation as being a "aphrodisiac". Quote: "Quaaludes were popular because of the belief that they helped sexually by relaxing and disinhibiting the user. "Ludes" so effectively lowered inhibitions and resistance to sexual advances that they too were called the "Love Drug" unquote. Source: Uppers, Downers, and All Arounders: Physical and Mental Effects of Psychoactive Drugs. Darryl S. Inaba, Pharm.D. and William E Cohen 2nd edition (1993) CNS Productions Inc ISBN 0-926544-11-X The demand for Methaqualone was so epidemic from around 1971 until 1983, that despite the DEA upgrading the drug to a Schedule II in July, 1973, by the late 1970's, the necessary chemical precursors to produce the drug, was being made within the USA by underground chemists, and especially by the Pablo Escobar [filtered word] Cartel in Colombia, South America, where millions of 100% pure Methaqualone formerly Rorer 714's, were being mass produced to export to the USA with the "Lemmon 714 embossments". The DEA traced the worldwide sources of the chemical wholesalers, and effectively stopped the flow of these chemicals from being shipped to Colombia, South America, and to any chemists within the USA, who ordered these chemicals by the barrel. The "emergency room visits" documentation, of USA citizens, making visits to EMR's were consistently high, as well, as were suspicions of higher serious automobile accidents, that involved often a combination of alcohol & methaqualone. Pharmacy robberies were higher as well, to the pharmacies in the USA that continued to stock legal methaqualone. "Insomnia/Sleep Disorder Clinics, especially in Florida, and to a lesser degree in metro NYC & LA, were dispensing record volumes of Quaalude scripts, and these clinics, were shut down, between 1977 thru 1981, with M.D.'s being indicted. In the case of another similar non-barbituate sedative, Glutethimide, "Doriden", it continued to be prescribed on a lower profile, but, demand for this drug, soared in the mid 1980's until the DEA reclassified the drug in late 1991, from a Shedule III to a Schedule II drug......another drug that was being abused recreationally, by consumers, who were adding McNeil Tylenol #4, to the "Doriden's", without their M.D's conscent, to obtain, a alleged "[filtered word] type" of euphoria. Again, hospital records to Emergency Room Visits, as well as to accidental overdoses, led to the "re-scheduling" of this drug, banning refill's. The reputation in general of hypnotic's and sedatives, became further scarred, as overdoses from common people to celebrities, going back to the 1960's "on Barbs" to "Methaqualone abuse" to "Doriden abuse" (which, the mfg, William H Rorer voluntarily stopped production in 1992/93) further added a "stigma to this very day" that is ingrained in M.D's to dispense Barbituates for insomnia, or any "Schedule II or Schedule III" type of sedative with extreme reluctance. Often, prescribed allegedly today, only to the terminally ill patients, or, the elderly population, in limited quantities, who have a lifetime history of imsomnia, who already have a pharmaceutical history of taking barbituates. Finally, the introduction in the 1970's of meds like "Restoril" "Dalmane" and in the 1980's with "Halcion" and the 1990's with "Ambien" (all C-IV's) have all but replaced all of the few remaining barbituates, and other similar non-barbituate substitutes, all that were classified a C-II or a C-III. Thus, the "very conservative dispensing" of the remaining super potent sedatives, Nembutal, Tuinal, Seconal, Carbrital Kapseals, Amytal Sodium, reached such declining sales, that in some cases, the pharmaceutical manufacturers stopped production of the capsules & tablets, simply due to lack of demand. Also, the chemical precursors, necessary to manufacture the drugs illegally, were also tightly controlled by the DEA, who always keeps a watchful eye, on where bulk chemicals are being shipped, and to whom, and, it the receiver is properly, licensed.....curtailing a lot of illicit production. The educated consumer, also, has become quite skeptical of flirting with a known highly addictive substance. The disappearance of Methaqualone, which really was a effective med for short term insomnia, but unfortunately, had unique properties, unlikely to ever to duplicated again, did have a undisputable euphoria that did mimic the closest thing to a true aprodisiac that the modern world has ever seen. Dr. Peter Bourne, a top official with former President Jimmy Carter, lost his job, in 1978 due to a scandal, where he was caught "on a fluke" by a young white house staff female employee, who was getting a prescription for "Quaaludes" filled in a "made-up name" to deter a paper trail to the White House, where allegedly, numerous parties were getting their Ludes, especially, females, to obtain the wildly popular Quaaludes.
Phenobarbital is still prescribed as an anti-seizure med in the US. A friend of mine's baby had a seizure due to in-utero exposure to methadone & she told us they had to give him phenobarb for a pretty long time.
My Grandfather was a a Chemist and Pharmacist, and he always thought they should have placed the more mild Amytal on Schedule III with Valium after that joke drug war. But anyway, I haven't been sleeping well from anxiety, so he put me on.5 xanax three times a day, works for axiety but it doens't make me tired at night at all, even when I don't take amy stimulants for ADD. To compound this,I take Amphetamine Salts on and off too but they helped me into Fordham. But to the point, before I asked the Doc,I wanted to ask how long it works, how Restoril compares to Xanax ad other benzos like Valium and Ativan. I like a real-person's take better than the docs on meds.
I like to rotate my hypnotics so as not to build up a tolerance. I will be 61 in 2 weeks and the older you get the less you tend to sleep IMO. But I digress. My doctor is pretty liberal so my rotation goes like this in order of effectiveness. Halcion 0.25 to .5 mg hs, Restoril 30 mg hs, Phenobarbital 120 mg to 180 mg hs (long half-life on Phenobarb not reccommended for very active lifestyles I'm basically retired so if I wanna sleep till noon it happens), Chloral Hydrate 500 mg to 1 gram hs and lastly Amtryptyline hs. This is my rotation and I don't use hypnotics every night so I have a stockpile like you wouldn't believe. Anyway, that's my "take" on sleeping meds. Talk to your doctor and if he really wants to help you it could be a trial and error but I hope you can get it straighened out. I'm not a doctor these are only my opinions. Good luck and have a great day!!!! Greg
This is very interesting. I barely know any barbituate info other than basic pharmacology. Soooo.. I was born in 83- What are quaaludes? As in anti-malaria drugs?
Methaqualone. Strong stuff
big CNS depressant..
Quaalude started out as an alternative to barbiturates. Drug company claiming less abuse potential and safer. During mid 70's till early 1983 they became a problem like you've never seen. If used properly they were a great hypnotic but I didn't know a single person who couldn't help themselves. The feeling and escape from reality were like no medication on the market today. Sleep clinics here in Florida were operating almost the same way the pill mills are in the present. Go to the clinic see the doctor for 2 minutes and walk out with Dexedrine and Quaaludes. Discontinuation of Methaqualone was all for the best. Many people wax eloquent about 'ludes I find myself doing it sometimes but really it was an evil drug that ruined a lot of lives and took quite a few people before their time. Greg
Thanks for sharing Greg and Goat. I had no idea, only heard it here and there in movies. I use ambien occasionally but it only makes me fall asleep, I can't imagine any recreational use. It's hard to picture sleeping meds as something people would take for fun. Don't get me wrong, it certainly happens- I saw a lady a few weeks ago that is taking 6 lunesta 3 mg a day. DURING THE DAY... From what it sounds like from you guys, it was a way bigger problem back then. At least the FDA gets some of them right!
response to medication can be very different from person to person.
diphenhydramine stimulates some people, especially very young children. Very many people get little to no pleasure response from benzos, so they can't understand what the big whoop is for those that abuse it.
The really big difference between benzos vs barbituates, greater even than the abuse potential, is withdrawal. Acute withdrawal from long term benzo therapy can cause intense anxiety and even more severe psychiatric isuses, but acute withdrawal from barbs could be lethal.
Acute withdrawal from some Benzodiazepines can be just as lethal as Barbituate withdrawal. I read a case study of a woman, a year or so ago, who took 200 mg of Xanax over a period of just a few days (3-4 days). When she went to the hospital and told the doctors what she had done, they didn't believe her. The doctors thought she was still under the influence, but in fact she was going through severe withdrawal. Before the doctors realized that she was telling them the truth she had already died in the hospital ER.
Granted the previous was a very unusual circumstance, death is a real possibility when a person withdrawals from high dose or long term use of powerful Benzodiazepines. There are also many other Benzodiazepines that have much stronger effects than Xanax, such as Nimetazepam, Nitrazepam, Brotizolam, Flunitrazepam, and a few others.