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Death may occur when barbiturates are combined with depressants such as opiates, benzodiazepines, gabapentinoids, thienodiazepines, alcohol or other GABAergic substances.[1]

It is strongly discouraged to consume moderate to heavy dosages of these substances together.


This page has not been approved by the PsychonautWiki administrators.

It may potentially contain incorrect information, particularly regarding that of dosage, duration, subjective effects, toxicity and other risks.

The structure of barbituric acid

Barbiturates (also known as barbs and barbies) are a class of psychoactive substances that act as depressants of the central nervous system. They produce a variety of sedative-hypnotic effects including sedation, anxiety suppression, muscle relaxation, and seizure suppression when administered.

Barbiturates have been largely replaced by benzodiazepines in routine medical practice, generally because benzodiazepines have lower toxicity compared to barbiturates. However, they are still used today for limited medical purposes, particularly as general anesthetics.

It is worth noting that the sudden discontinuation of barbiturates can be dangerous or life-threatening for individuals using regularly for extended periods of time, sometimes resulting in seizures or death.[2]


Barbiturates are based on the barbituric acid molecule. Commonly, two hydrocarbon substitutions are present at carbon R5. of the pyrimidine ring. It also contains three double-bonded oxygen substitutions at R2, R4 and R6.


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This pharmacology section is incomplete.

You can help by adding to it.

Subjective effects

The effects listed below are based upon the subjective effects index and personal experiences of PsychonautWiki contributors. The listed effects should be taken with a grain of salt and will rarely (if ever) occur all at once, but heavier doses will increase the chances and are more likely to induce a full range of effects. Likewise, adverse effects become much more likely on higher doses and may include serious injury or death. These effects are listed and defined in detail within their own dedicated articles below:

Physical effects

Paradoxical effects

Cognitive effects

Toxicity and harm potential


This toxicity and harm potential section is a stub.

As such, it may contain incomplete or even dangerously wrong information. You can help by expanding upon or correcting it.
We also recommend that you practice diligent independent research and the most thorough harm reduction practices when using this substance.

Barbiturates are toxic at higher dosages.[citation needed] Barbiturates have a greater addiction potential than benzodiazepines. Overdose can be achieved much more easily with barbiturates than with benzodiazepines. Some barbiturates, such as phenobarbital, have been linked to the development of cancer. Using barbiturates concurrently with other depressants can be considered extremely dangerous even when taken in lower doses, and may lead to severe negative side effects such as respiratory depression, coma, and death.[citation needed]

Tolerance and addiction potential

Barbiturates can be considered extremely physically and psychologically addictive. Shorter-acting barbiturates are significantly more addictive than longer-acting barbiturates.[citation needed]

Tolerance will develop to the sedative-hypnotic, anxiolytic, and euphoric effects of barbiturates after prolonged use.[citation needed] It is unknown exactly how long it takes for tolerance to reach baseline after continued use. All barbiturates present cross tolerance with each other, meaning that tolerance to one barbiturate will lead to tolerance of all other barbiturates.


Barbiturate withdrawal is a medically serious condition and can potentially cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms such as seizures, psychosis, and death.[citation needed] Drugs which lower the seizure threshold such as tramadol and amphetamine should be avoided during withdrawal. If an individual is addicted to a shorter-acting barbiturate such as pentobarbital, switching to a longer-acting barbiturate such as phenobarbital may prove beneficial.[citation needed]


Barbiturate overdose may occur when a barbiturate is taken in extremely heavy quantities or concurrently with other depressants. Combining barbiturates with other GABAergic depressants such as benzodiazepines and alcohol is particularly dangerous because they all work in a similar fashion but bind to distinct allosteric sites on the GABAA receptor, thus potentiating one another. Benzodiazepines increase the frequency in which the chlorine ion pore opens on the GABAA receptor while barbiturates increase the duration in which they are open, meaning when both are consumed, the ion pore will open more frequently and stay open longer[3]. Barbiturate overdose is a medical emergency that is commonly known to induce coma, permanent brain injury, and death if it is not treated promptly by medical professionals. Barbiturate overdose has an increased frequency of serious adverse effects when compared to other depressants.[citation needed]

Symptoms of a barbiturate overdose may include severe thought deceleration, slurred speech, confusion, delusions, respiratory depression, coma or death[4].

See also

External links


  1. Risks of Combining Depressants (Tripsit) |
  2. Barbiturate withdrawal effects |
  3. Barbiturates and benzodiazepine effects |
  4. Barbiturate Overdose |