Patients should always tell their doctor and dentist when they are taking barbiturates. Barbiturates should generally not be taken with other drugs used to treat mental disorders.

There are a number of drugs that barbiturates should not be combined with because the barbiturates may increase the metabolism of these drugs and thus, reduce the amount of these drugs available to be of benefit. These drugs include oral corticosteroids such as predis-olone, methylprednisolone, prednisone, or dexametha-sone, estrogen and oral contraceptives, blood-thinning medications such as warfarin (Coumadin), the antibiotic doxycycline (Vibramycin), and anticonvulsants such as phenytoin (Dilantin).

Barbiturates should not be combined with alcohol because the combination produces additive depressant effects in the central nervous system.

Barbiturates may lower the amount of absorption of the vitamins D and K.

Resources books

Consumer Reports Staff. Consumer Reports Complete Drug

Reference. 2002 ed. Denver: Micromedex Thomson

Healthcare, 2001. Ellsworth, Allan J., and others. Mosby's Medical Drug

Reference, 2001-2002. St. Louis: Mosby, 2001.

Hardman, Joel G. and Lee E. Limbird, eds. Goodman & Gilman 's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001. Mosby's GenRx Staff. Mosby's GenRx. 9th ed. St. Louis: Mosby, 1999.

Venes, Donald, and Clayton L. Thomas. Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. 19th ed. Philadelphia: F. A. Davis, 2001.

Mark Mitchell, M.D.

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