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Luminal 2017-03-06T15:42:30+00:00
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Luminal Addiction and Abuse

Luminal is the brand name for the generic drug, phenobarbital. Phenobarbital is a drug primarily used for treating epilepsy, insomnia and anxiety and belongs to a group of drugs called barbiturates. Barbiturates, in general, slow down activity in the sensory cortex and motor activities, creating drowsiness, hypnosis or sedation in the patient. It is also considered a Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant, or sedative or tranquilizer. Luminal or phenobarbital is primarily used as an anti-epileptic drug with prolonged action to help treat seizures. Due to its sedative effects, Luminal may be used illicitly. Luminal, like other barbiturates, are habit forming and can lead to tolerance, dependence or Luminal addiction and abuse if used repeatedly or for a long period of time.

Common street names for Luminal

Luminal is considered a Barbiturate. Barbiturates in general may share street names. These may include:

  • Reds
  • Barbs
  • Tooies
  • Phennies
  • Red Birds
  • Yellows
  • Downers
  • Yellow Jackets

Drug classification

Take Our Treatment AssessmentLuminal, or phenobarbital, is considered as a Schedule IV controlled substance under the Federal Controlled Substances Act. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Schedule IV drugs have low potential for abuse, less than drugs classified as Schedule III and II.

History and Trends in Luminal Addiction and Abuse

According to the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, Conrad and Guthzeit first synthesized a barbiturate known as barbital (or diethyl-barbituric acid) in 1881. In 1904, it was introduced into clinical practice as a hypnotic.  Thereafter, various modifications were made to the chemical structure and eventually over 2,500 derivatives of barbital were created, but only a couple dozen used regularly in medical practice.

One of the first barbital analogs to be synthesized was phenobarbital, by Horlein in 1911. The following year, it was first used as a hypnotic by Loewe, Juliusburger, and Impens and also marketed by F Bayer and Co as “Luminal”. Phenobarbital (or Luminal) was the most widely used barbiturate and soon became known as “king of the barbiturates.” Luminal was one of the first two barbiturates accepted by the United States Pharmacopoeia in 1926.

In 1911, Luminal (phenobarbital) was discovered to have anticonvulsant properties. Alfred Hauptmann was caring for epileptic inpatients and found these patients could not sleep due to their seizures. He decided to give phenobarbital to these patients and was surprised to find that it reduced the number of seizure occurrences and their intensity. Phenobarbital was then the first effective treatment for epilepsy. Currently, phenobarbital (Luminal) is the most common and widely used anti-epileptic drug in the world.

Barbiturates became highly popular in the 1930’s and 1940’s. However, dependence and deaths associated to overdose were the major problems of using barbiturates. In an attempt to control those issues, laws were put in place to regulate the sale and distribution of the drug. However, Luminal addiction and abuse continued. According to the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, there were as many as 250,000 Americans addicted to barbiturates in 1962.

Luminal and other barbiturates are still used illicitly and recreationally today. Abuse of the drug can lead to overdose, dependence and Luminal or phenobarbital addiction.

Side effects of Luminal

Common adverse effects for Luminal (phenobarbital) include, but are not limited to:

  • Double vision
  • Nausea
  • Somnolence
  • Dizziness
  • Unsteadiness when walking
  • Nightmares
  • Agitation
  • Hyperventilation
  • Thinking abnormality
  • Confusion
  • Apnea
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nervousness
  • Aggression

Signs of Luminal Addiction and Abuse

Luminal abuse symptoms may include severe cases of the above effects. Luminal abuse could lead to tolerance and dependence of the drug. Signs of Luminal addiction may include:

  • increasing the dosage
  • tolerance
  • mental and physical dependence
  • seeking out the drug
  • strong desire to take the drug

Withdrawal symptoms of Luminal

The primary Luminal withdrawal symptoms is repetitive seizures that can be life-threatening. It is recommended when stopping Luminal treatment to do so gradually in order to minimize withdrawal symptoms.

Luminal withdrawal symptoms may occur when someone is physically dependent or addicted to the drug and suddenly quits using it. Other withdrawal symptoms that may occur are similar to those of other barbiturates:

  • delirium
  • convulsions
  • anxiety
  • tremors
  • muscle twitching
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • vomiting
  • insomnia

Treatment for Luminal Addiction and Abuse

Like other barbiturates, the treatment process for Luminal addiction includes a gradual withdrawal from the drug.  A medical detoxification can assist with reducing withdrawal symptoms and attempting to maintain comfort. Having medical oversight is beneficial during the detox process in case any life-threatening symptoms occur.

Rehabilitation and therapy are also recommended for those addicted to Luminal. Our services include a thorough evaluation for each individual in order to develop an appropriate treatment plan. Therapy and counseling may help the patient understand the cause to their Luminal or phenobarbital addiction and avoid relapse.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an luminal addiction, get help now. Contact White Sands Tampa about our luminal addiction treatment programs today at 1-877-640-7820.

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