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What are barbiturates?

Barbiturates are central nervous depressants. They reduce the activity of nerves causing muscle relaxation. They can reduce heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. All barbiturates affect gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter (chemical) that nerves use to communicate with one another.

For what conditions are barbiturates prescribed?

Barbiturates are medications used for treating headaches, insomnia, and seizures. Barbiturates are one of the older classes of medications.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/30/2014

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