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What Are Barbiturates?

A barbiturate is a drug that acts as a central nervous system depressant, and can therefore produce a wide spectrum of effects, from mild sedation to death. Barbiturates are effective as anxiolytics, hypnotics, and anticonvulsants, but have physical and psychological addiction potential. They are generally known as sedative-hypnotics, which generally describes their sleep-inducing and anxiety-decreasing effects.

Examples of Barbiturates

  • Amobarbital (Amytal Sodium): Downers, blue heavens, blue velvet, blue devils
  • Pentobarbital (Nembutal): Nembies, yellow jackets, abbots, Mexican yellows
  • Phenobarbital (Luminal): Purple hearts, goof balls
  • Secobarbital (Seconal): Reds, red birds, red devils, lilly, F-40s, pinks, pink ladies, seggy
  • Tuinal: Rainbows, reds and blues, tooies, double trouble, gorilla pills, F-66s